Business Model 101: Accounting as a Service
Let’s talk about business models, specifically, the end of the compliance business model. I don’t want to scare you, but have you ever been hugged for doing a tax return? I most certainly have not. Ever.
What I’m getting at is that the compiling of data is not something people place value on. As data comes to play in apps like Hubdoc or Receipt Bank, it automatically flows through, and bubbles up from, a photo of a receipt into QuickBooks Online, for example. It won’t be too long before you see that data bubble up into a tax return. “If this, then that” (“IFTTT”) rules will soon exist for how you process data.
Here’s the thing: you can’t hide these tools from your clients. They are going to do their research and will know what’s going on. You are going to have better data, but what’s important is that you know what to do with that data. You will not just be giving tax advice; you will be consulting on future planning and moving into management style accounting.
So, while the need for your expertise in compliance will always exist, the compliance business model is dead because it will cease to be the bulk of your firm’s revenue stream.
When it comes to an accounting firm’s and their clients’ adoption of cloud technologies, I believe we are in the Early Adopter stage, which is great news for all of you. If you think about this curve and how it relates to business, you can ride the entire wave. The market will be yours for the taking.