Category Archives: Technology Identifier

What I discovered by connecting with Bookkeepers & Accountants at the #GetConnectedAU Roadshow

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Roadshows are both a Marathon and a Sprint!

They are also engaging, repetitive, exhausting, invigorating and enlightening ……. providing an opportunity to deliver/receive direct unfiltered communication from the audience to the organiser.

I have an affinity to roadshow events having presented at more than 100 of them over the past 15 years, they are my favourite way of connecting with an audience. Whilst we have organised many of our own here at QA Business, its always great when someone else handles the logistics and fills the room and that is exactly what Intuit Australia did over the past 3 weeks.

It was my privilege to present the Keynote session at #GetConnectedU and share some thoughts, experiences and stories that hopefully helped (ABC’s) Accountants, Bookkeepers & Consultants re-discover some Confidence about the industry direction, gain Clarity on their relevance in it and create deeper Connection with others who will be a part of their extended team to enhance their client experience.

#GetConnectedAU (held in Melbourne, Sydney, Perth, Adelaide and Brisbane) saw hundreds of ABC’s invest a ½ a day in learning about industry trends from Trent McLaren, Website design tips from Wayne Schmidt, company and solution updates from Nicolette Maury, Meagan Wood and Luis Sanchez from Intuit, Shark Tank Style pitches from App Eco system partners and a Power Panel of Peers sharing insights on building their Accounting & Bookkeeping businesses.

It has been a great Roadshow that reinforced for me a continued shift in mindset in the market, as the frenetic pace of having to learn all apps in the accounting tech eco system (which created overwhelm and inertia) is beginning to settle down to a more considered approach to discerning what to learn that will be relevant to the clients you are looking to serve and the business (firm) you are building.

3 noticeable takeaways I observed were;

Renewed Focus on Strategy

ABC’s, no matter how long they have been involved in the profession, have a renewed focus (and are taking the time) to devise their future, based on discernment as to what the market needs are, combined with learning new skills to compliment current and emerging demand. Technology is a tool that is here to stay and whilst there is no doubt there will be a continual evolution (and perhaps consolidation) of solutions there seems to be a propensity for advisors to absorb a broader array of solutions and discern their relevance and application to their client’s business and their own.

A Viable Profession of Choice

I was both surprised and encouraged by the number of new entrants to the profession (within the last 5 years). People choosing Accounting | Bookkeeping | Technology as their vocation of choice. From diverse backgrounds, including Corporate positions, unrelated Small Business, Education and even the Trades. These new Tech Savvy, Enthusiastic (Baggage free) entrants are also coming with a plan, creating and building a business that will afford them lifestyle choices and fulfilling work as they serve clients with a model they have designed to service the customer and themselves.

Bookkeepers & Accountants are collaborating

Accountants and Bookkeepers alike are continuing to partner and collaborate to serve the small business community. Traditionally there has been some “Us and Them” mindset on both sides but Technology seems to be assisting by breaking down the barriers. With so much change occurring in the industry, professionals in both camps are recognising that more can be achieved by utilising the unique skills that each party has to offer each other. Coincidentally this dovetails perfectly in a session I’m presenting at #QBConnect in Silicon Valley next week on why “Accountants & Bookkeepers Go Together just Like Peas and Carrots” 😊

Thanks again to the Intuit QuickBooks Australia team for enabling me to be a part of the Roadshow and delivering a platform for ABC’s to Learn, Connect and Collaborate.

The next major event for Intuit is the Australian edition of #QBConnect which has been extended into a 2 day event to be held in Sydney May 24-25 2018. I would encourage all independent professionals who have an interest in the future of the profession and the impact of technology on it to attend – I know I will be.

– Clayton

 

Opportunity for Accountants and Bookkeepers to play the role of Trusted Technology Identifier for their clients?

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With the pace of change accelerating for small business who do you turn to assist with charting your course into the digital future?

Much of the technology adopted in business today has traditionally centred on the Accounting, Payroll and Administration systems; however there is a transition underway to further extend from this hub to cater for more of the overall business processes.

We are seeing the role of your Accountant and/or Bookkeeper evolving too. The traditional compliance (tax return) and data entry roles are becoming commoditised and streamlined, with some new generation software systems removing entire swathes of work previously undertaken by each party. This change is providing the opportunity for your Accountant and/or Bookkeeper to take on the role of Identifier and Connector. They can identify which business processes could benefit from using technology and then connect you with the provider(s) who specialise in those solutions.

Adoption of further technology in your business leads to increased efficiencies and systems that streamline your business operations; however it is important to get it right.

The Accounting and Bookkeeping professions are working feverishly to identify the solutions that will serve their clients (you) in building stronger businesses for the future. We can see the world becoming further specialised in this space with Accountants and Bookkeepers continuing to favour 1-2 core accounting solutions and building on their skill sets to identify the add on solutions that connect with the core accounting system.

So what solutions will help round out the use of technology in most small to medium sized enterprises? Let’s start with a “Big-6” pack of solutions that may be appropriate for many small /medium sized businesses;

  1. CRM (Customer / Client Relationship Management Systems, Email Marketing, Time Billing)
  2. Web Store Integration (Connecting your Online Store with your Accounting System)
  3. Electronic Document Management (storing and linking documents)
  4. Payroll Portals (Including Rostering and HR)
  5. Advanced Inventory (Including Manufacturing & Distribution)
  6. Dashboard (KPI) Business Intelligence Reporting

Whilst all of these areas may not apply to your organisation it’s highly likely that some do and here is an opportunity to identify and assess which may be appropriate – now and in the future.

So who do you turn to for advice? Your Accountant and/or Bookkeeper. They know your business, are a great place to start and have strong vested interests in seeing your business develop integrated systems that work effectively. Whilst it is early days in the professions, we are also starting to see specialist consultants who can integrate the “Big-6” solutions (and beyond) into your accounting system.