Brad Golchin paused to think for a moment. He was in a castle in Northern Italy, built 1,500 years ago, before anyone knew New Zealand existed. Now he was sitting where the castle’s residents once sat, using Xero and WorkflowMax Practice Manager to file a GST return, and it was just like working out of his Auckland-based office.
He had this thought during a three-week, seven country European tour. “I tried not to think about that kind of thing too much, though,” he told me, “because it drives you crazy.”
As Director of accounting firm Wise Advice, Brad seldom used to go on vacation. A vacation represented time disconnected from his practice. Time where he was unable to answer questions from his clients and staff, and couldn’t even do basic things like filing GST returns. The difficulty of passing on key tasks to others and the stress of knowing how disconnected he was from his clients made vacations more burdensome than relaxing.
This all changed when he started running his practice on Cloud systems like Xero, WorkflowMax Practice Manager and Spotlight Reporting. For the first time ever, he was able to easily go on a stress-free, easy vacation. And not only was it relaxing, it also helped him strengthen his relationship with his clients.
It was a vacation, not a work trip (a fact his wife reminded him of by photographing every time she caught him working). But it was a vacation made possible by the fact that he was able to work in the Cloud if and when he was needed. He was 95% disconnected, and that remaining 5% made all the difference.
Brad’s clients were thrilled that he could go on vacation without interrupting their service. One of his virtual CFO clients has regular meetings to go over the business’s numbers. One of those client meetings was due during his vacation, so he had it over Skype, using the same live data he would have used if he was taking the client out for coffee in Auckland.
The vacation actually built stronger relationships with his clients. Clients, he told me, were skeptical of an accountant who couldn’t leave the office for more than a couple days. “If I couldn’t afford a vacation, how could I advise them on their finances?”
So going to Europe had its share of paradoxes. Going online in a castle. Relaxing by staying connected to his office. And strengthening relationships with his clients by disconnecting from them. All made possible by Brad’s 2010 decision to run his practice in the Cloud.
What will you do to make vacations possible?