Cloud Nine: Benefits of Moving Your Practice to QuickBooks Online Accountant

If you’ve decided to make the switch to cloud accounting, you’re probably feeling a bit overwhelmed. Don’t worry, many other accountants have been exactly where you are now, starting with yours truly. 

I was terrified when I made the decision to switch to QuickBooks® Online Accountant. My team and I had been using Quickbooks Desktop for many years, and we knew it inside and out. My practice was built around the program and the service I could provide with the desktop software. Clearly, moving online was a tough decision.

Here’s why I did it anyway — and, more importantly, why I’m so glad I did.

Why I Made the Shift

Let’s start with why I ultimately decided switching to Quickbooks Online Accountant was the right call. It all began one day in San Jose, Calif., when I attended QuickBooks Connect, Intuit’s® first ever global conference. This was where I first realized what my business could become using cloud accounting, or perhaps more to the point, what it could never become if I stuck with the desktop.

At the conference, I learned how Intuit was making landmark changes to Quickbooks, evolving it from an accounting software program to an accounting software platform where we could manage all of our clients in one place. I came back from that conference more excited about our industry and the potential of my own business than I’d been in a long time.

Getting the Ball Rolling

The hardest part of making the move to Quickbooks Online Accountant was getting my team to buy in. After all, they hadn’t attended the conference, so it was up to me to articulate the technological changes coming to our industry. What’s more, they were all comfortable with the desktop software, and could perform tasks in their sleep. Most of us don’t like change, right?

The key for us was to take things slowly with some in-house training. Once a week, we would sit down for an hour and I would demonstrate the features of Quickbooks Online Accountant, showing them how they could perform tasks better and faster, and solve client pain points by using the third-party apps. I knew that I had to get my team to see the light at the end of the tunnel before we could ever hope to get our clients on board. Slowly but surely, they started to come around.

Enjoying the Payoff

Although not always easy, all of that initial time and training paid off.

Internally, it was amazing to see our perception of the desktop software change. We were still taking on QuickBooks Desktop clients up until last year, but my team members were all more excited about clients coming in on the cloud.

I would often hear them ask questions such as,“Which apps will we be connecting them to?” or “Can that client be mine?” The excitement around the new technology and what it could do was palpable. Being able to set recurring tasks and no longer having to manually enter receipts into QuickBooks freed my team up to serve clients more  efficiently. As a manager, I feel great knowing my team is learning skills to keep them at the forefront of our industry and that they will have jobs long into the future.

More significant than what the change to the cloud has done for my team is what it’s done for our clients. Here are just a few examples:

  • We have fundamentally changed the way that we provide information to our clients about what is happening in their businesses. For example, most of our clients receive real-time reporting now. If it’s halfway through the month, they already know how their business is performing and can make proactive changes to meet their monthly sales goals.
  • We now have the ability to provide more advanced  analytics to clients, meaning they receive better insights into their numbers, in terms they can understand.
  • Clients no longer see us as someone they need to work with for compliance sake, but someone they want to work with because we can make a bigger impact on their business.

Embrace the Change

The move to the cloud has  been exciting and eye-opening to say to least, and I firmly believe that we are only on the cusp of the changes to come to our industry.

Sure, you can continue to do things the way that you’ve always done them. You can choose to manually enter receipts, create bills, or print checks. You can choose to keep working with third-party remote connection products that always pose a challenge, but why stick to these ways when you have better options available?

The shift to the cloud has allowed my team to automate many of the tasks that bogged them down, giving them the freedom to better serve their clients and enjoy more work-life balance.

This is the way the future is moving, the first step in an exciting and ultimately fruitful journey. I promise you won’t regret it.  

But don’t just take it from me. Listen to some of our other peers who have made the shift online and what it’s done for them: