I am a director of AS Partners, a CPA practice in Melbourne. I have been with the firm since 1983 and have been working in the Cloud Accounting space for over two years. We as a practice have seen technology moving at a breakneck pace which will only continue to evolve at a fast pace into the future.
Australians historically have taken on change with little resistance. Examples are telex machines and fax machines many years ago, to more recent emails and the Internet. The internet is part of our daily lives, allowing us to tap and go with credit cards, do internet banking online and now cloud accounting.
I started back in the day before computers were readily used in our industry in 1981 and had gone from a manual system to computers with data operators to clunky PC’s with DOS-based packages and then PC’s with desktop software.
Now we have great cloud-based packages from QuickBooks Online so that we can work from anywhere but one thing is most important, and that is we all need to embrace change.
I had the privilege of going to QuickBooks Connect in 2015 and 2016 in San Jose with an amazing group of Accountants, Bookkeepers and Small Business people from around the world.
I had the opportunity to learn from thought leaders in our industry, sharing ideas and seeing how our future is becoming our present very quickly. I could see that Australians were ahead of many countries. Unfortunately, many in the Accounting industry still have their heads buried in the sand rather than in the cloud.
I am part of a practice of 34 staff. Apart from our directors our team who are mainly under the age of 40 have embraced change very easily. We love that they have done so and we must ensure we continue to help them to buy into where we see things heading, listen to them about change and allow them to make those changes for the benefit of the practice and our clients. We do this by continually updating them on our vision and providing mentor sessions to our team.
One of the drivers of change in our Industry has been Intuit who are putting a vast amount of resources into the cloud space to make life easier for our clients and that allows us to be more proactive and offer value-add services.
Our practice is trying to be a step ahead. We have a few hundred customers in the cloud and now offer a broad range of value-add services from bookkeeping, quarterly management reporting, business planning, budgeting and tax planning. We can access their accounting files from anywhere and anytime to help their businesses grow with live data at our fingertips.
We utilize add-ons like Receipt Bank, Practice Ignition, Microsoft BI and are continually looking for new ones to help improve both us as a practice and our clients.
We all need to learn more about the ecosystem with a variety of add-ons and use this great website tool – Intuit QuickBooks Apps
There are many great Apps available to help us value-add to our clients which is becoming an expectation.
As a final thought though I would think about the companies in the past that have failed as they thought they were safe from change. E.G., Kodak.
No one is immune, and we need to accept change, embrace change, and ensure we take everyone along for the ride.
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