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Accountants as technology drivers

Guest post by Paul Pettit, Director, Curtis McLean Chartered Accounts, Wellington

Paul Pettit, Accountant

Paul Pettit, Curtis McLean

As a “big” small practice with a team of 35 based in Xero’s backyard, we like to think we’re on top of the technology game. We’ve spent the last three years understanding the incredible shifts in our sector, re-aligning our offer and helping clients get on board with cloud accounting. Last week we launched a new website for our accounting practice to reflect that technology-focused positioning.

The process we went through in developing our new positioning told us there’s something we can offer clients beyond compliance and business advisory services. We should be helping clients take up new technology beyond Xero – or perhaps more correctly – from within the rapidly developing ecosystem of apps that integrate with Xero.

Xero is a hugely positive “Trojan Horse”. Its simplicity and beauty surprises everyone and, because of that, it breaks down the wall of fear that clients have around cloud technology. Familiarization with Xero means clients are more ready to look at technology – to “add-on” new apps. We’re the ones who should be driving clients to them!

There is a useful analogy to consider here. Smartphone operating systems thrive because there’s an ecosystem of apps developed by others. Apps that integrate seamlessly with the OS and give practical (or entertainment) value to users.

There are a lot of great Add-on apps in the Xero ecosystem already and more will come along every month. But, clients don’t always have the time to research technology even if they are inclined to. We can help them understand which add-ons are worth investigating further. There lies our first job. We should give them that help – and we are.

On our new website, we’ve created an apps library for Add-ons that we think are relevant and practical, and that integrate with Xero. We’ll be emailing our clients regularly about the apps that matter (and it’s a perfect reason to keep in touch with clients!)

The next job is helping clients understand the value new apps can bring to their particular business, and how to implement them. Our experience tells us that one-size never fits all, and therein lies the value of our advice.

We’re there to help clients make the right decisions, get the tech on board and train them up. As their No.1 trusted advisor, we’re in the perfect position to also be their most credible technology advisor too. Which is why we now think we’re also in business to help transform business life through technology. And you thought accountants were just good with numbers?

We’re taking our thinking to Lower Hutt on 27 June (at The Dowse between 4.30-6.30pm). I’ll be speaking with Xero CEO Rod Drury about the Xero success story and about some of the cloud tech that’s growing up around it. If you would like to attend, please register on the Curtis McLean site.

 

4 comments

Carl
11 June 2013 #

Nice article Curtis with some great pointers for Xero partners. That new website is nicely laid out and portrays the client focus well too.

Graeme Leo
11 June 2013 #

There is an analogy here; policeman wear blue suits however not all people wearing blue suits are policemen. A common technology e.g. cloud-based, should not be the prime definer for good business process. What is important is that the customer is delivered the solution that best fits the business need and that could well be a combination of technology platforms. Overdue emphasis on the technology, straining to fit the ideological model, is a common mistake and the customer is in danger of being fitted-up on that basis. It’s about the process not the software or software platform.

Nice article with some great points for Xero ecosystem. That new website is nicely laid out and portrays the client focus well too.

Brookson Ltd
4 July 2013 #

Totally agree, nice article

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