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Using technology as a competitive edge

Guest post by Seth David, a technology consultant specializing in trends and solutions for bookkeepers.

Thanks to today’s technology, CPAs, accountants and bookkeepers are more valuable than ever before. Our roles are changing; we’re business coaches, financial planners and virtual CFOs. Yet to fulfill these responsibilities, you have to be able to leverage technology to benefit both you and your clients.

To some, this might seem obvious. But the truth is that adopting smart technology can be a challenge. For starters, I admit that I have a technology addiction! Whenever new software or applications pop-up, my mind races with possibility. More often than not, I’m quick to implement new solutions. My clients however, require more convincing.

When bringing new technology into my practice, I have just one rule: it has to make it easier for clients to do business with me.

The key is to always keep the client front of mind. Here is a checklist to help you:

  1. Take the time to understand your clients’ business hurdles and comfort level with technology.
  2. Make a list of the issue(s) you’re solving. Use this as your guide when selecting a product.
  3. Present clients with solutions that complement their current processes or are easy to adopt.
  4. Check-in and review how technology is benefiting your clients. 

As an example, even though my practice uses Google applications, not all my clients are comfortable using Google Documents or even recognize Google beyond a search and email capacity. These clients need a solution that fits them. So I tailor my service and dig into my toolbox suggesting DropBox or Smartvault instead. The result is a better customer experience for my clients and a more streamlined workflow for me.

Importantly, it’s about providing options for your clients. Being technologically agile definitely has its perks – it gives you a competitive edge. Clients recognize and value your skills beyond just bookkeeping and see you as their trusted advisor and smart business partner – which is exactly what you want to be.

Since starting Nerd Enterprises, Inc. in 2003, Seth has recorded hundreds of online videos covering productivity tools, cash flow management and software affecting the accounting industry.

 

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3 comments

Earl Rudolfo
9 May 2013 #

Great checklist, Seth. Glad to see you mentioned @SmartVault – a must have app and amazing document management system. Now Smartvault and Xero would make a winning combination in terms of competitive advantage.

Seth David
9 May 2013 #

Thanks Earl. SmartVault is great. I was using ShareFile for a long time and I still think that’s a great tool but SmartVault does the same things and then more for less money. All around it just makes more sense.

Stephan Goldsmith
11 May 2013 #

Good article Seth. You’re right, keeping the client forefront and center is the most important! I think Xero is the right platform here for client service now, and for future growth. I think SamrtVault will eventually get on board which make our jobs that much easier! This will open up consulting opportunities for clients who are comfortable using technology.

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