Using Paperless to Create a Competitive CPA Advantage
I’ve sometimes wondered if all this paperless office effort gives our firm some kind of a competitive advantage. It is certainly effective in creating harmony in the office, and the increased efficiency is making our firm more profitable. But, does it give us an advantage over the competition?
I’ve had the advantage of seeing many different approaches to public practice in my 30 years of being in the profession. I’ve always built my firm on the back of technology, and there was no doubt that my ability to support the technology of the accounting side of my clients garnered more clients. Many years ago, we were able to attract very profitable and forward-thinking companies because we were the only firm who were experts in AccPac Plus for DOS. For those of you who are too young to know, DOS is an acronym for Disk Operating System … wow, talk about old technology!
So, I look at our Paperless Office and muse, “what advantage do we have today?,” then chuckle to myself and wonder if I’m awake.
Let me see. We lose nothing. We forget nothing. Our staff is empowered because they can access all the information necessary to answer clients’ questions when I’m not here. We are not worried about six-month deadlines because we finish year-ends by the third month. Clients have reports in their portal for access at all times. Communication is structured, no matter where we are. I can assist a client with his accounting needs at any time, from anywhere, without moving. We never wonder how an email was answered, or what was said, and we avoid duplication.
The competitive advantage we have? We spend 30% of the time working on our clients’ data and 70% of our time working with our clients in planning and solutions. Amazing!
LESSON: You are going to get left behind if you don’t get on board with the paperless wagon!!