First-Hand Accounts of Moving Accounting Clients Online
Why move online? Intuit user Thomas Gabbert, CPA, and three of his industry peers offer first-hand accounts of how the move to cloud-based accounting can boost efficiency, deepen client relationships and make data entry obsolete.
In the last probably two years, especially, we have moved most of our clients to the cloud based tools. It represents freedom for us and it also is freedom for our clients. It's really kind of taken that traditional model that you have to go somebody's office and deal with a stack of paper and it's blown it up.
If we can use technology to leverage ourselves better and be more efficient in our jobs, then we're going to spend less time and we're going to make a hard margin. Five years ago we were spending more time just getting the information into the system and making sure everything is reconciled and now that stuff is happening in a much more automated fashion. We spend more time doing the value added work for our clients and analyzing the data and helping them make sense of it and make smart decisions.
One of my clients is a restaurant. I went to talk to him just really to pick his brain about the restaurant industry and some of the things that we were thinking about doing as a firm. He was probably spending about five or six hours a week doing his own bookkeeping. We showed him a much better way to do that and he was thrilled.
It's scary to them at first because their first reaction is that looks great, but how much work is that going to take to get there? We tell them we have a team of experts who have done this. They know how to do it. We will get you up and running in a very short period of time.
What we're finding now and I think we're at the early stages of this is that we're introducing it to them. Within a month or two they're saying I don't know how I used to do things before. This makes total sense. I wouldn't go back. You can now do every thing you need to on the internet. Everything is different and more efficient. That's a real win for the accounting firms and it's a win for our clients. Don't look back. Don't hold back. Embrace the change that's coming. Try the technologies. Get comfortable with them yourself first so that you really can be an evangelist and kind of speak from the heart.
You want everything in the cloud. It's that use of technology that really differentiates us from other people. That old fashioned data entry is going away. You don't have to do it anymore.
My tax preparation is actually on the cloud which was kind of pioneering. I've done it for three years now. I have probably like realistically about 80% of all of my clients are completely on the cloud.
Having real time data available in the cloud has made it so that I can spend more time focusing on the pieces that are most important .