There are some not So Shocking Things and some shocking things about the future of accounting technology.
Here’s a glimpse into the future. I doubt a lot of this will surprise you but there will be some things in there that I’d be surprised about if they didn’t surprise you. For me it was a great deal of validation that much of what I’ve believed is consistent with what Doug Sleeter told us in his keynote at Solutions14 this year. He predicted the future of accounting technology as he has before.
First a recap of the past. What used to be the future of accounting technology is now the present. Much of this was predicted and as always there have been some surprises.
We’re moving to the cloud. It doesn’t mean you have to be there now, nor does it mean that you have to be all there. I’m certainly not all there but that’s a different blog post 🙂 . Seriously though, Doug made the point that it’s a process, not an event. You strategize how you will move your own business to the cloud and then you strategize how you will take your clients to the cloud. Doug gave a great example of how at his own company, The Sleeter Group they created a practical plan of action for going paperless. This is a great example of how to move towards the future of accounting technology.
There are many documents that need to be kept 7 years back. It wouldn’t be practical to go back and scan all of that. They pulled out what they knew they would always need like incorporation documentation and scanned that. Then they let the rest of the old stuff “..die a natural death.” shredding it as it aged past 7 years. The new stuff was all scanned. This made it manageable, and thus Doug lead his team into the future of accounting technology.
When it comes right down to it, it should not be a surprise (but it will be for some) that when Doug Sleeter researched what SMB’s want from their accountants there were 2 statistics that stood out and screamed really loud at us. The number 3 criteria in terms of importance when small businesses hire accountants is that they want strategic advice. Most accounting and bookkeeping professionals are still running their practices based on compliance instead of forward thinking strategic planning. This is where it gets interesting. The #1 reason why small businesses fire their accountants is that they aren’t getting any strategic planning advice from their accounting professional. I was so happy to hear Doug say this because I have been saying it on my weekly hangout for the past 2 years. This is what I consistently hear from new clients when I ask why they are looking to leave their current accounting professional. This means you have a tremendous opportunity as you lead your firm into the future of accounting technology.
If you are an accounting professional who is worried after reading this, don’t be. This is the last time you should worry. Instead you should get excited because you have a tremendous opportunity before you. All you have to do is start offering strategic planning advice and you will win new clients and retain existing ones. This paragraph alone should make you a lot of money.
More to come on Doug Sleeter’s Keynote on Change Leadership and The Future of Accounting Technology as the Solutions14 conference continues.
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