Firm of the Future Spotlight on Large Firms: Boyum Barenscheer
Welcome back to our Firm of the Future profile series about larger firms who are benefitting from the cloud to better serve clients and find new revenue opportunities. In this new article, we spotlight Nick Swedberg, a CPA and senior manager at Boyum Barenscheer, a Minneapolis, Minn., firm.
Mindy King: Tell us a little bit about you and your firm.
Nick Swedberg: Boyum Barenscheer is a 75-person firm in Minneapolis. We specialize in small business and are a very tech-forward firm. We always want to move the industry forward and keep an eye on changes and advancements that will impact our industry. I have been with the firm more than 11 years and run the restaurant and brewery division.
MK: What prompted your firm to switch to QuickBooks® Online (QBO)? What has surprised you the most about QBO’s capabilities?
NS: As a firm, we noticed other industries moving to the cloud and even saw our own vendors switching to the cloud, so we knew that accounting software would soon follow. QBO really set the bar for what we expected from other providers, and we knew this was software we could use to leverage our outsourced accounting practice. The biggest surprise is how fast the improvements and changes keep coming! We find ourselves discussing a new feature we wish that QBO had, and then a month later, it’s there. I love knowing we are always using the most up-to-date software.
MK: For your firm, what have been the biggest benefits and/or timesavers that you’ve seen after having switched to QuickBooks Online?
NS: TAX PREPARATION! I cannot stress how valuable it has been having our clients in QBO. Having instant collaboration where we can specifically ask questions on transactions and make live changes has been a huge game changer. What Accountant’s Copies did for QuickBooks Desktop years ago has been drastically improved and made instantaneous.
MK: For your clients, what have been the biggest benefits and/or timesavers? What do they like most about being in the cloud, in comparison to their previous desktop experience?
NS: Timesavings, no question. Many of our businesses are like us – we buy from the same places year after year. The rule making and machine learning that QBO implemented has cut down the time spent on data entry drastically.
MK: How did you or your team get buy-in from key stakeholders at your firm to make a switch to QuickBooks Online?
NS: I truly don’t think anyone wants to be left behind and experience FOMO (fear of missing out). It was an easy conversation, luckily. My biggest comment would be, “What happened to the last firm to stop preparing tax returns by paper?” You do NOT want to be behind the curve.
MK: How did your firm get agreement from your desktop clients to move to cloud? If those clients voiced any concerns, how did you address them?
NS: Once we showed our clients the seamless bank feeds, the ability to integrate with us and the online invoicing, we had no shortage of people asking to upgrade. The main concerns were solved by using amazing add-on applications, including Bill.com, TSheets by QuickBooks and SOS Inventory.
MK: What apps do your firm use to extend the power of QuickBooks Online?
MK: What piece of advice would you offer to other accountants or firms hesitant to move to the cloud?
NS: Don’t get left behind! Clients are moving with or without us telling them to make the switch. If we don’t move with them, we get left behind, and that is scarier than switching to the cloud.
MK: What advice would you give to other accountants about “niching” their services?
NS: I personally have thrived by niching. Handling mostly restaurants and breweries has made me know that industry so deeply that every new conversation I have in those areas provides value to the owners that wouldn’t come from a generalist. Generalists are important, but I truly believe that niche owners are the ones growing firms in such a competitive marketplace.