When it came to numbers interrogation the ‘numbers power’ used to rest with the Accountant. Unless the Accountant is involved with the client in implementing cloud accounting then the power will rest with the client.
The reason for that is the reports and data that comes out of cloud accounting systems are reports and data that Accountants used to provide to their clients for a fee. They are very powerful and tell a compelling story. In essence, software has taken away some revenue from Accountants.
If you just leave it to your clients own devices then you are missing out – big time. Do not let your client choose which application to use (just because their friend recommended it), get involved in the decision. Help them choose an application that suits their business needs. Some firms are considering aligning themselves to one provider only which is crazy. In an Accounting firm the ethical thing to do is help the client chose the application that suits them. That means you will end up having 3-4 primary applications in your client base.
Fast forward. You’ve worked with the client and picked a solution for them. After that some Accounting firms are basically saying ‘go for it’ to the client and letting the client do the data conversion from the current system. Business owners are not that interested in accounting! Do not let them do it on their own. Take it away from them and do it for them. Have a number of ‘product champions’ in your firm that know the products inside out and do it for the client. Charge your client for the conversion as well. At least you’ll know it’s done right – and the client has someone to blame if it is not!
Once you’ve implemented the new system train your client how to use it properly. How to enter data, link to point of sale software, scan invoices, send invoices, manage inventory / payroll & cash….accounting for non-Accountants. Maybe even run a workshop on this.
And don’t leave it there. The real power with cloud accounting is that you the Accountant now have access to clients financial data in real (close to) time. Which means if something is going wrong you can do something about it – before it’s too late. Instead of waiting 6, 12 or 18 months to get the data you can have access to it on any device, anytime anywhere.
To connect to all of your clients (no matter which cloud application they are on) use an application like our PANalytics dashboard below. This will consolidate your clients data into a ‘traffic light’ dashboard system and automatically push information to your device when things are going wrong or right. It will also give you advice, tips and hints as to what to do about what is happening in the client data.
To find out more on how to implement cloud accounting with your clients come to my upcoming seminar which is visiting 14 cities around Australia and New Zealand starting on March 17 & right into April. We’ll have independent speakers, vendors and Accountants who have already implemented cloud with their clients. The day is all about the ‘how to’. You’ll gain knowledge, skills, training, get your team engaged and understand which tools are available for you and your clients to use. Go to www.cloudseminar.com.au for booking dates and more information.