Accounting professionals have moved on from the question “why cloud?” to asking how they can use the cloud to move forward in the current accounting landscape.
CEO and Executive Director of the Maryland Association of CPAs, Tom Hood, recently told AccountingWEB how accountants should not just “manage” change but “lead” it, while still keeping sight of day-to-day firm operations.
Hood will be a leading a practice session at this year’s Xerocon in San Francisco titled, “Using Your Sixth Sense to Prep Ahead”, which will cover anticipating the latest trends and forecasts to ensure your firm is future-ready.
Hood told AccountingWEB why accountants should maintain a proactive approach to staying ahead rather than a reactive one.
“Consumers and small businesses are leading the way in what and how they want to work. It’s an app economy,” Hood said. “You don’t have to install things on your server anymore, and what happened in the days of installed software was accountants held power for the most part. The CPA had to make sense of things, but now accountants are playing catch up. That’s a reason many accountants are trying to figure out how to get and stay ahead. Being reactive is a fool’s game.”
He went on to list three areas firms can focus on in order to future-proof their business.
“There are three hard trends: technology and its speed, demographics in the workplace, and government regulations. The idea is to start with those first,” Hood said. “The profession used to be more predictable and it’s just not anymore, not that things today can’t be predictable, but it’s just not the same things it once was.”
Hood offered his insight into the area of the profession that is experiencing encouraging growth.
“Specifically the use of cloud accounting – is growing dramatically. There are big waves of change and oceans of opportunity,” Hood said. “I remember being taught accounting with planning and predicting, and we often got stuck in the data and keeping the numbers right. For me, technology unleashes that power and we as accountants can go understand the language of business in a way others can’t.”
Hood says firms that are stuck and want areas of their practice to change should look to their peers to see what they are doing.
He says firms that are lacking the time they need should use the technology available to them to create this time and invest it in their future.
“New tools plus workflow can help transform your firm, like having a more collaborative tax process,” Hood said. “Then there’s client ranking. It’s been beating for a while, but firms don’t always do it right. You tend to serve your “D” clients at the expense of your “A” clients, and that wastes time. Engage your people. If you have a few people working for you and they help you figure things out, let them help you.”
Learn from Tom and other industry leaders at this year’s Xerocon. Secure your spot today to join us and find out how you can use our tools to migrate to a modern practice and grow profits. You can read the AccountingWEB article here.