If Accountants want to retain their ‘trusted adviser’ status then they need to be much more involved in their client affairs. They need to get closer to their clients and understand their clients’ financial affairs even more than before. Having deep ‘financial intimacy’ with a client is what needs to be achieved.

Having financial intimacy with a client includes which accounting software they use. No longer are clients going to a retail store and buying a boxed product for their accounting software. The vast majority are buying their software over the internet – not in a box. The software is internet or ‘cloud’ based. The estimate is that around 7% of current businesses use a cloud based accounting product. That number is growing dramatically every month.

Are your clients coming to you for advice which software application they should use or are they just using one recommended by their friends? Surely the Accountant who is ‘doing their books’ should be involved in that decision.

There are some Accountants who are heavily (some aggressively) promoting 1-2 cloud based products yet the majority are not. It is farcical to think that just one application suits every client you have or want. In any Accountants client base the right thing to do is have 2-4 primary applications throughout the client base.

The movement to cloud based applications is one that no one can stop. Social change says that people want the information on their device 24/7 and technology companies are building applications to suit that appetite.

I think you need to get on the front foot and aggressively promote this unique opportunity. That means running information sessions, seminars, webinars, having product champions; KPI’s on how many clients are on cloud and mentioning it in all promotional material.

The major benefit to the Accountant is having real time information where you can offer real time ‘value added’ advice. Instead of having financial intimacy after the fact (up to 18 months later) you can have real time data at your fingertips. By adding value to the data and deepening the financial intimacy the secondary benefit is that you will strengthen the relationship with your clients and keep the client for longer.

Unless you get ‘on the front foot’, promote cloud solutions and add value to the data then someone else will.