Welcome to the first in a series of profiles spotlighting the 2018 Firms of the Future. This Q&A features Tanya Hilts, owner of Cloud Bookkeeping Services, a Canadian firm and the grand prize winner of our Firm of the Future contest unveiled at QuickBooks® Connect 2018.
Mindy King: Congratulations on being the 2018 Firm of the Future grand prize winner and finalist for Canada! Tell us about yourself and your business.
Tanya Hilts: I started 20 years ago by offering tax services at my kitchen table. Since then, the business has grown to more than 500 annual tax clients, and evolved to include bookkeeping, with my migration to the cloud taking place in 2012. Now, my business has grown to provide a full-service, cloud-based workflow to small businesses, and I have a team of four: two full-time and two part-time staff.
MK: What makes your firm a Firm of the Future?
TH: I think there are a lot of factors that come into play when describing a Firm of the Future. Being 100 percent virtual, we maximize technology to manage our firm and communicate with clients. Being able to work from anywhere is important within our changing profession. We also use social media as our primary form of marketing, mixed in with some networking and a lot of referrals. Social media has allowed us to keep in contact with our clients and mentees using private and public Facebook groups.
The final key to being a Firm of the Future is education. We educate our clients on the technology and the complacencies they need to know in order to make sure they are meeting all their obligations as a business owner. However, our advisory services focus not only on our bookkeeping clients, but also on bookkeepers within our “Tanya’s Bookkeepers Bootcamp” program. We designed this program three years ago to educate bookkeepers and accountants on how to use technology to become more efficient and automate, as we did, through QuickBooks® Online, QuickBooks Online Accountant, integrated CRM and workflow apps.
MK: We’ve heard of your success in helping Brighton Sport and Wellness Centre. How did you find each other and how were you able to work together to achieve mutual success?