How to Modernize an Accounting Firm
Accounting is a landscape that’s becoming increasingly complex and facing a number of challenges. Clients have more demanding expectations than ever before, and with that in mind, the modernization of accounting services is critical for competitiveness.The following are some things to know about how to make sure your accounting firm keeps up and stays modern in the current environment and also into the future.
Introduce a Client Portal
If you don’t already have one, a client portal is a great way to improve efficiency and collaboration. You can get the information you need faster, and a portal is going to improve client satisfaction as well. Otherwise, every time you need information, there’s time-consuming back and forth and it might be cumbersome for your client to get information to you. Client portals can offer transparency so you can maintain a sense of trust, and it’ll reduce the workload you would otherwise have to take on to keep your client informed on what’s going on with their case.
Along with the introduction of a client portal, you might want to generally rethink how you communicate with your clients. You don’t want to have to stop everything you’re doing every time you need information. A client portal is going to offer an easier way to get in touch, so you can manage your time more effectively and make sure all resources in your firm are properly allocated.
Expand Payment Options
You need to be paid in a timely way for the work you do as an accountant. You can use your client portal to help you in this area, or you can have a standalone billing and payment option.Along with choosing something that will send out automated payment reminders and bills, you should take credit card payments.Customers are increasingly used to being able to pay online for everything they do, and their accounting services shouldn’t be an exception, at least not if you want to be a modern firm.
The first two tips lead naturally into the third—make your office paperless, at least as much as you can.Dealing with paper documents takes up a lot of the resources in your office and reduces productivity.Become a more streamlined and efficient office by making it a goal to go paperless.
You don’t need to, nor should you spend hours doing certain things manually, when in reality, automation is a great resource.For example, when you use accounting software, you’re automating some of the more tedious processes, and you’re also going to optimize productivity levels and improve accuracy.You can also store all of your information in the cloud, which helps make sure you don’t lose critical data.Multiple devices can access reports from anywhere, and as long as someone has the proper permissions, they can work remotely.
Automation can not just help you do accounting tasks more quickly and accurately. It can also make sure that data is flowing seamlessly through systems, and you can use the data and analytics elements of accounting software to help power better decisions on behalf of your clients.
Work Remotely If It Makes Sense
The idea of accounting software and cloud-based solutions making remote work possible was touched on above
If you want to be a modern accounting firm, your goal is to reduce your overhead, improve your efficiency and maximize the value you deliver to clients.All of this can be done while you and your team work remotely.You can save money on office space and other costs, and focus much more on the client experience, and perhaps upselling your current clients on other services.
Rethink Your Model
There are creative ways that you can charge for your services and make your accounting firm modern and competitive. One way is to offer a subscription service.Think outside the box and consider adding a combination of your services and support into a monthly price.This model has so many benefits for you and your clients. For example, you can begin to predict your revenue, and you can cut out the time and expense of sending out invoices and dealing with billing.You’re not tracking your billable hours, and you can almost altogether get rid of accounts receivable.
Finally, hire for the firm you envision. Look for employees who embrace change, are comfortable using technology, and want to stay modern in how they do their job. Having change-resistant employees can be a big hurdle to overcome for an accounting firm.