Firm of the Future Profile: Amy Walker, CPA LLC
Welcome back to our Firm of the Future profile series about thriving firms who are benefitting from the cloud and QuickBooks® Online Accountant (QBOA)to better serve clients and find new revenue opportunities. In this new article, we spotlight Amy Walker of Amy Walker, CPA LLC.
Mindy King: Tell us about your accounting and/or tax practice.
Amy Walker: We are a friendly, energetic accounting and bookkeeping firm that supports small businesses. Our team of five is based in Houston, Texas. We focus on accounting/bookkeeping work, while leaving tax work to the tax experts. As of May 2018, our entire client base uses the QuickBooks Online (QBO) platform (cue the fireworks!).
MK: How long have you been using QuickBooks Online Accountant?
AW: We've used it so long that it's hard to remember. It was a very easy transition once I realized we could access all of our clients and manage the practice from a single user interface. And, it just keeps getting better and better. We're taking a look at the QBOA Work function more closely this summer. Now that it integrates with Slack, we're really interested. We love Slack! We implemented it last fall after hearing about it at QuickBooks Connect and it was a real game changer for us.
MK: What convinced you to make the move to QuickBooks Online Accountant?
AW: Organization and efficiency! Anything that speeds up our workflow, organizes tasks and minimizes errors is a tool I'm interested in. The flexibility afforded by QBOA (and cloud-based accounting in general) allows me the luxury of a meaningful professional AND personal life.
As a side note, our city was severely impacted last year by Hurricane Harvey. Because our practice is paperless, cloud-based and uses QBOA as our accounting platform, we didn't have to worry at all about down time or file recovery. The firm didn't skip a beat and we were able to support our clients without interruption.
MK: What are your goals for your practice this year?
AW: We are at a point where we are re-evaluating our workflow processes, as well as our client base. We've grown at a steady clip over the last couple of years and we want to make sure we're doing all that we can to best serve our clients, while running a smooth, efficient practice. I want to further standardize and improve our processes, while actively seeking ways to add value to our clients' businesses. We say it on our website and it's written on every invoice: "Our goal is to be the most important part of our clients' support teams."
MK: What’s your favorite away-from-the-office place to get work done?
AW: Anywhere with a cool breeze and the sound of water nearby. With QBOA, I'm able to take a laptop and my practice anywhere. In the past year, alone, I've been able to work on the beach in St. Thomas, under the trees in Harvard Yard and on the porch of a casita in Arizona.
MK: Where’s the craziest place you’ve done work for a client?
AW: I think it's a toss up between the dressing room in Macy's and under the dryer at the hair salon!
MK: What’s your number one timesavings tip?
AW: Document your processes and stick with them. You'll need to tweak here and there to customize the process for a client's specific business, but there's no need to recreate the wheel every time you take on a new client. Good technology and consistent processes are your friends.
MK: When you’re not working, what’s your favorite way to spend your time?
AW: At home, I love hanging out with my family and working in the yard. We are empty nesters for the first time this year, so any time we have the chance to be with the kids is my favorite time.
MK: What advice do you have for peers that are still on desktop?
AW: Give it a whirl! Of all of the potential clients I've interviewed, I've only thought one should stay on desktop. The remote accessibility, alone, will save you and your clients hours of time. It's easy to learn, constantly improving and available wherever you are.
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