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If you’re an accountant or bookkeeper with any interest in technology, you’ve likely come across the Accountex Accounting App Technology Ecosystem infographic. If not, be warned – it might induce feelings of dizziness!
The Accountex infographic visualizes the fast pace of growth of the accounting app landscape. With so many new app solutions becoming available, accountants and bookkeepers are starting to experience app fatigue – the feeling that there are simply too many apps to choose from.
Fighting App Fatigue
App fatigue will often lead to two potential outcomes that are not ideal for firms looking to increase efficiency, grow their client base and improve their client experience.
The first is a feeling of paralysis or a hesitancy to explore new technology simply because you’re overwhelmed by the sheer number of app solutions and you don’t know where to start. This is problematic because it could cause a firm to avoid adding new technology altogether, which will lead to missed opportunities to take advantage of all the benefits of cloud accounting technology.
The second potential outcome is “shiny object syndrome” or the need to get all the apps because everything is better than nothing. This is dangerous because it will likely lead to redundancies in your technology stack – having apps with overlapping features and functionalities – which can cause more efficiency roadblocks, increase confusion among your staff and wasted spend on unnecessary tools.
So, how can firms fight app fatigue and embrace the growing app landscape in a productive way? The truth is, there’s no right answer or foolproof way to do this. A few methods that help include:
Embracing tech advisory. Being a firm of the future means embracing technology and making smart technology decisions for your clients. Technology should no longer be “outside your area of expertise.” If you’re recommending solutions to clients, you should have a solid understanding as to why you chose that solution and why it’s a good fit for your client’s particular business needs. If technology isn’t your passion, consider dedicating an individual on your team or hiring someone to take on your firm’s tech responsibilities in a “Technologist” role.
Regularly auditing your technology stack. When it comes to technology, best-in-class firms don’t just “set it and forget it.” It’s becoming a best practice to regularly audit your tech stack on a quarterly or annual basis. Re-evaluating your tech stack will help to ensure you’re using each tool to its full capabilities, that your stack is resolving all inefficiencies in your workflow, and that each tool is still the best available solution for your, or your client’s, particular business problem.
Standardizing your app evaluation process. With so many solutions out there, it’s easy to get confused by the overlapping features and capabilities. Standardizing your app evaluation process – creating a repeatable process and list of must-have app criteria – will help you determine which apps are truly the right fit for your firm and your clients’ businesses.
Choosing the Right Apps for Your Firm
The quickly growing app ecosystem is still a bit intimidating. By embracing tech advisory, regularly auditing your tech stack and standardizing your app evaluation process, it will be a lot easier to make sense of the landscape.
It’s worth noting that navigating the landscape doesn’t necessarily require getting certified in every accounting tool or even being an expert in all the nuances of each app; it comes down to knowing what’s best for your firm and, more importantly, your clients.
We created a free app evaluation checklist to help accountants and bookkeepers discover, evaluate and select the right accounting apps for their firm.
The checklist will provide you with:
- Tips for identifying your firm’s technology needs.
- Best practices for discovering and vetting apps.
- A detailed checklist of items to test when evaluating apps and auditing your tech stack.
The free app evaluation checklist is a great way to start making sense of the landscape and ensuring you’re choosing the right tools for your firm.