Surviving in this competitive world means consistently changing how we do business transactions.
The old, simple, and straightforward manual processes are making accounting more complex than hassle-free. Hence, technology transformation is required.
This transformation allows you to break age-old manual processing barriers, eliminate productivity lags, and prepare for the future.
Are you ready to prepare your CPA firm for the future?
Start today! Here are four ways CPAs can use to prepare their company for the future.
How Can CPAs Prepare For The Future?
From using the cloud to remotely handling accounting, the preparation for the future requires multiple technology-driven solutions. Read on to know what you can do to become future-proof!
1. Move to the Cloud
The first thing that you can do as a CPA firm is to move to the cloud.
Despite the fear of high-costs and security about the cloud, it is one of the most efficient implementations for any business. It is more secure than your hard drive and cost-effective than your in-house infrastructure.
Benefits of the cloud:
- The cost of management of in-house infrastructure is more. It includes the cost of hardware, software, renewals, IT support, etc. The cost of the cloud is only as per your use, and there is no upfront investment involved.
- You can easily host your accounting software, such as QuickBooks Desktop, on the cloud to enjoy remote working and added features. This hosted software is a replica of your desktop software, which is hosted on a remote server. Through this remote server, you can control your data and user profiles. Multiple users can access data and work simultaneously.
- All the users get access to the system, apps, and data only via multi-factor authentication. Also, there are additional security controls, such as regular backups, intrusion detection and prevention system, and audits.
- The uptime of the cloud is much more than in-house systems. If your system experiences a virus attack, you stand a chance of losing your data, and you need to wait until the IT team recovers your system. In the cloud, you have backups for disaster recovery, and downtime is as less as a few minutes in a year as with most providers, you get 99.999% uptime.
With the cloud, you can ensure remote working. If there is one thing that we have learned from the coronavirus pandemic, it is the art of staying prepared for the worst. Without a proper structure to work online from different locations, you may not grow in the future. Fortunately, cloud hosting can help you with that.
Data entry tasks in an accounting firm are just too many and very hectic. You can’t deny the fact that while adding those numbers, you can make mistakes, so you need to check repeatedly.
So, why not automate?
The biggest change that you can make in your accounting firm is to automate. It helps in reducing the load of your employees and improving efficiency by reducing errors.
The easiest solution to automate is to utilize accounting software, such as QuickBooks. Using such tools will help you in the following ways:
- Automated Data Entry – invoices, receipts, and other data can automatically be integrated with your accounting software.
- You can create real-time reports and analyze actionable insights to make business decisions and take appropriate actions in real-time.
- Due to automated data capturing, your team spends less time configuring data and more time growing business and helping clients. This leads to business success. They can research, learn, and deeply understand the client’s business to serve them better.
- Other than timely reports, you can use forecasting to handle cash flow and other activities.
3. Offer Advice
Till now, CPAs have supported organizations, managed their books, and streamlined accounting activities. What we often miss is accounting advisory. As a CPA firm, you can make yourself future-proof by offering advisory support to customers.
Here’s how that is possible:
Every CPA has a fair deal of knowledge about business and taxation. They know how to prepare taxes, how to audit accounts, and they know accounting. These things give them the power to offer financial advice to businesses.
You can advise your clients on the following:
- Tell them how to manage their billing. You can add value to their billing structure.
- Help them adopt new technologies for improved accounting and enhanced efficiency.
- Help them make decisions where finances become a bottleneck. After analyzing their accounts, you can understand whether these decisions can turn in their favor or not.
- Advice on how they can cut costs and improve cash flow.
- Help them make important purchases at the right time.
- Help them streamline their client payments.
With the advisory support, you may or may not improve your ROI instantly, but you will get high profits in the long-run.
4. Use Digital Marketing
Digital marketing is on the rise. There’s no stopping this wave.
Every business is utilizing the online world to make a difference. However, CPA firms are still far behind in this manner. They are not using digital marketing to reach out to users.
If you are using just offline methods, this will not work in a couple of years. Every customer checks online reviews before doing business with any firm. If your online presence is not valuable, they may decide against it.
Check what you can do to improve your digital presence:
- Update your company’s LinkedIn profile. Add the number of employees, include your introduction, and connect with the users.
- Hold online live sessions to connect with customers and answer their queries. You can even join communities and forums or start one to cater to the questions of your users.
- Stay active on Twitter and Facebook to connect with more users and help them find the right accountant.
These activities may not necessarily help you find customers directly, but you may be able to get some referrals.
Every few years, the strategies we use, the technology we adopt, and the processes we harbor become outdated. That’s when you know the time of transformation has arrived. We are currently in the middle of this transformation; the digital transformation.
So, assess your company’s goals, evaluate your future business growth, and take steps appropriately. You should know where you need to reach to make your business future-ready.