5 Key Pieces Of Software You Should Implement In Your Practice To Thrive In 2017
We are in the midst of rapid technological change.
And this change represents both a threat to accountancy practices and a great opportunity.
By implementing the right technology into your accountancy practice, you can:
- Strengthen your position for the future. The ones who don’t adapt won’t survive.
- Increase the efficiency and profitability of your practice.
- Position yourself as less of an accountant, and more of a trusted advisor.
Here are 5 key pieces of software you should consider implementing in your practice for 2017 and beyond:
PLEASE NOTE – I have no affiliate relationships or receive no commissions for recommending any of the software below. I recommend them based on my own knowledge, research and the experiences of my clients.
1.Cloud Accounting Software
Like it or not, this is the way of the future.
Cloud accounting software has many benefits for both your practice and your clients including:
- You will be seen as a trusted advisor. Which means that you will have access to your clients’ financials on a much more regular basis, and can therefore, be seen as a trusted advisor to them throughout the year, instead of just when you meet up with them.
- It improves practice efficiencies.
- It attracts new clients. A lot of business owners are adopting cloud accounting themselves, so they will be looking for accountants who are familiar with it and can do it for them.
- It enables added-value services (see point 5. Advisory software)
The key is to choose one and then make it a project to train all of your staff, and transition all of your clients as soon as possible.
2. Auto Enrolment Software
Auto Enrolment continues to be a great opportunity for accountants to generate an additional revenue stream for their practice.
Since the introduction of Auto-Enrolment in 2012, there has been a growing trend in AE software providers to help ease the burden of work that comes with it.
By 2018, every employer will have to automatically enrol their eligible workers into a workplace pension scheme which means they’ll be looking to you, their accountant, to help them out.
One piece of software I’ve been particularly impressed with that a number of my BlackBelt clients use is Brightpay.
Brightpay has everything you need to manage your payroll, and fulfil your auto-enrolment duties, which means your clients can relax while you take care of everything in one piece of easy to use and flexible software.
3. Quoting/Proposal Software
Most accountants I’ve met don’t particularly enjoy selling and aren’t the most ‘natural’ salespeople.
This means that when it comes to selling, they can sometimes struggle…
- You don’t sell all of the services that your clients NEED
- You don’t charge enough for your services
- You don’t charge for all of your services (you give some away for free just to win the client)
If you’re looking to increase your fees, and sell more services to your clients without them saying ‘no’, then you should strongly consider investing in some quoting/proposal software.
GoProposal does exactly that.
It allows you to “give more value to your clients and get them buying more from you”.
4. Workflow & Automation Software
Managing workflow is something most accountancy practices I speak to struggle with.
They’re unsure where certain jobs are at, who’s responsible for what, and can’t remember the exact workflows that need to happen.
If you want to have greater visibility over the jobs in your practice, and automate some of the more repetitive tasks e.g. job creation and allocation, then you should definitely consider investing in some workflow and automation software.
Both of them are extremely affordable and will save you both time and money down the line.
5. Advisory Software
When you implement some of the technology mentioned above, two things will happen:
- You will free up much more of your time and your teams time
- You will have real-time data about all of your clients available at the click of a button
This gives you the perfect opportunity to spend your new spare time using this data to offer advisory services to your clients.
One of the ways you can do this is by using software such as FUTRLI.
FUTRLI (previously Crunchboards) is an “all-in-one forecasting and reporting application” that allows you to better understand your client’s current position, as well as provide future forecasts.
Consider packaging these services up using proposal software like GoProposal mentioned above and your clients will be lining up to buy from you.
How to Implement Technology Effectively
You’ve made a decision — it is time.
You and your team are going to implement some or other technology system which once and for all is going to completely change your lives.
But before you start, here are a few fundamental rules which would be really good for you to take notice of.
- Never underestimate the magnitude of implementing any bit of technology.
- Consider it to be a project for which you will use the Octopus Project Management system — which means that you have a project manager responsible for it… not you!
- Definitely use the Who-What-When approach with specific focus on the When around clear milestones.
- Be patient and allow time for both implementation and integration.
- Pick one project and focus intensely on it until it is done.