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Tables turned: What app providers want accountants to do

For an accountant or financial professional, there are an unlimited number of apps they are introduced to on a regular basis that try to convince them their platform will help them to save time. In reality, based on the high number of potential apps, they could spend all of their time simply testing/implementing new resources.

Although it is imperative to continually optimize your practice, and look for ways to increase efficiency and profitability through technology, it is equally important to avoid adding technology for the sake of “trying something new” that does not necessarily provide a solution for your firm or your clients.

I have always enjoyed talking with people at QuickBooks® Connect for the simple purpose of understanding their practice and what their objectives are. As a vendor, it is always a much more positive discussion when you can connect with their primary objectives rather than simply try to convince them to use your resource. In doing so, there are inevitably some situations where the functions of our product will not complement their current business operation – therefore, we are not a fit.

As a financial professional, there are some simple rules you should consider before you embark on researching potential apps for your business:

  1. What are the current pain points in your processes that could potentially be resolved through technology?
  2. What are the potential apps available on the market that would help to resolve those pain points?
  3. What resources are available online to assess the performance of any considered apps? You can solicit online chat groups to get feedback on their experience with any proposed apps.
  4. How much time will it take to evaluate the app and do they offer any sort of “free trial” to assess the performance?
  5. Who will be part of the “team” from your firm to evaluate the prospective app?
  6. What will be the “benchmarks” to assess if it is meeting the specific objectives in your firm?
  7. What will be the potential cost and the actual ROI for the resource?
  8. If the evaluation proves to be successful, what is your timeline for global implementation?
  9. What training will be offered for your staff and what individuals will need to be included in that training?

Without going through a comprehensive assessment or “due diligence” evaluation of any proposed app, you may very well end up wasting a great deal of time and implement a resource that is not globally adopted by your staff. If that occurs, the chance of resolving your aforementioned “pain point” is significantly reduced.

However, if your team does successfully evaluate a new resource for the firm, you may end up with a desired result and improve your overall profitability which of course justifies the entire process.

As once said by General Omar Bradley of the U.S. Army, “If we continue to develop our technology without wisdom or prudence, our servant may prove to be our executioner.” What that means to me is, let technology work effectively for you, don’t get caught up working solely for technology.

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