I was speaking to a new client today about being in the early stages of converting to QuickBooks® Online (QBO). The information was on QuickBooks Desktop before, and the client just wanted to start new and have his own data to learn with. We are training the client to do much of it themselves, so it is just their time to learn QBO as we will give them a lot of homework during our training process.
The client called after his first session and said he is really hating QBO; he wanted me to convince him he made the right move. I was reassuring the client that he has just started, and we haven’t even gotten his chart of accounts set up properly yet (he decided to dig right and try to move ahead of our training). Once we have everything set up, his recurring templates, the bank feeds coming in and have him using the QBO mobile app, he will be in love with it as his business is quite mobile, so it suits him perfectly.
This prompted a conversation within the office as to what it was like before I fully embraced QBO. Remember this? The clients would drop off their pile of paperwork – unorganized (with coffee stains to boot). Sometimes it would be for a month and sometimes it would be for the full quarter. By the time they got everything in and to me, I had two weeks to process everyone before the HST deadline. I NEVER had everyone processed before the deadline, although nothing was ever late. But, there were regular late nights in the few days leading up to the filing deadlines, and more than a few times where I would stop to file just in time, carrying forward ITCs to the next filing because I didn’t get everything entered in time. I was always chasing my tail to try to keep on top of things.
Now with the advantages of QBO using bank feeds, QBO work for deadline reminders and communicating with clients along with a tight workflow and automatic reminder system for clients, I have breathing room. Lots of it. We are working within a week for most clients using apps like Hubdoc and ReceiptBank. Note I am very particular with bank rules and only items such as bank charges, bank interest and loan payments are automatic rules; I want to see each receipt as I am a stickler for CRA compliance. We are not chasing clients as much, and have what we need to be on top of things (for the most part), and more often than not, our HST is all filed two weeks before the deadline. That used to be a pipe dream for me.
The biggest challenge is to be sure that we are working with the right client for our processes, and who embraces or is at least not afraid of technology. Our processes work best when both sides embrace technology and commit to the flow. We have our processes to interview the client as much as they are interviewing us, and we have turned our share away for a wrong fit. It can be challenging in a rural area where people have not yet embraced the internet. But we stick firm to knowing who our ideal client is.
Now, I’ll admit, technology can also have its hiccups. I think with technology it is just par for the course. But even with the hiccups, I would not trade back even for a second. And of course, don’t forget that we can now work from anywhere, anytime as long as we have the internet. And I vow, I will take that Caribbean cruise in the middle of tax season one of these years!!!