For those that have made the leap, what is the essence of the Cloud that is making all the difference in accounting? As Rod Drury and Rob Nixon (who recently published his new book, Accounting Practices Don’t Add Up!) explored yesterday at a session with 50 Xero partners, it’s the way it helps people connect, leading to higher value interactions. The real-time capability allows accountants to consult with clients about what is happening in their business every day – becoming proactive rather than retrospective.
During the afternoon session at our Wellington HQ, Rod focused on using cloud technology as a tool to connect accountants with their clients. Here are some highlights:
- Accountants are the key to improving small business productivity – the way to do that is by connecting them with their clients in the cloud.
- Software is evolving and soon we won’t be talking about accounting software anymore – it will become how businesses connect to get things done and accountants connect to add value to clients.
- Cloud accounting software provides the missing link that lets the profession adopt a higher value approach.
Rob picked this up and talked about how technology has now caught up and the challenge for firms is to exploit the new technology and re-think how they work. Here are the highlights:
- Accountants have financial intimacy with their clients – they know things about them that nobody else does
- The consequence of this intimacy is power – so to not add value with that power is a disservice to clients and the relationship
- The way to offer higher value is to take the friction out of your client engagements, build services that make a difference to clients and communicate that value to clients.
Sharing his insights from the Proactive Accountants Network, he then drilled into what a proactive practice looks like:
- Partners in the practice focus on the big picture, winning new clients, doing high-end work and both providing and seeking thought leadership.
- A team that focuses on what they can do for the client, rather than just filling out time sheets.
- A laser-sharp focus on three key metrics: work in progress (jobs that have been started but aren’t progressing), debtors and, of course, profit. By minimizing the first two and keeping an eye on the third, your practice will thrive.
It was a great afternoon that Maria Hilling from Stephenson Thorner summed up nicely with “today was hugely inspirational, we’re all going away extremely motivated to look at ways we can add more value to our clients.”
We’ll be running more of these events to support our partners who are shifting to a new way of thinking so keep an eye on our Partner Events page.