Today’s Top Technologies for Accountants
The world today looks very different than it did a decade ago. Industries like healthcare, commerce, and education have been revolutionized because of technologies that improve accuracy, efficiency, and general office wellbeing. This trend is only increasing, as technology continues to strengthen in capabilities.
This is true for the accounting world. While some aspects of bookkeeping have remained untouched for a reason: a balanced book is a balanced book, there are lots of tools out there that can make your business run smoother. And, as millennials continue to move into the workforce, staying on the up and up with the latest and greatest technologies is a useful, and increasingly necessary, recruiting tool.
I’ve compiled a list of four technologies accountants who want to embrace 2016 should consider. Not everything may be right for your business, but knowing what’s out there, and understanding how it could apply to your industry, will benefit you and your firm in the long run.
More likely than not, you’re already using cloud computing, either in your personal or professional life. Checking your bank account balances, sending an email, and downloading an audiobook are just a few examples using cloud computing. Basically, ‘cloud computing means storing and accessing data and programs over the Internet instead of your computer’s hard drive.’
Cloud computing has a ton of perks other than sharing those family photos with Facebook. First starters, it offers extreme flexibility, as folks can work remotely, anytime, anyplace, and access necessary systems. Additionally, small firms can find affordable data recovery and security systems that might otherwise be inaccessible. These pay-as-you-go subscriptions and automatic updating systems offer a wider selection to firms using cloud computing. Tools like Xero and Quickbooks are just a few of the accounting-specific tools many firms are leveraging to improve their businesses.
Not to mention, it cuts down on paper waste, which mother nature loves.
These days, clients are coming to accountants looking for more than just a balanced book. Business owners are looking for more general guidance and strategic advice for their business, and the accounting firms that offer this are finding it to be a competitive advantage.
Determine what part of your business you can automate for yourself and your clients. Spending less time on the tasks that can easily be automated frees up more of your time, so you can offer your clients the support they really want. Software like Xenefits and Gusto allow you to streamline in-house processes, while tools like Taxify allow you to expand your portfolio offerings with ease.
Providing sales tax support is considered going above-and-beyond by many accountants today. But in the future, clients will expect this kind of support, and tools like Taxify are designed to make this as easy of an option as possible.
Video Chat Services
There are many tools out there (Skype, Google Hangouts, GoToMeeting, FaceTime) that provide video chat and voice calling services. These types of tools are incredible for communication, as they allow you to have face-to-face time with folks from anywhere around the world, at no, or inconsequential, cost.
This means you can travel or work from home and still get the face-to-face time with employees and clients. Empowering employees with the opportunity to work remotely is increasingly important these days, and as millennials continue to move into the workforce, they’re only going to increase the demand for it. According to oDesk, 92% of millennials want to work remotely and 87% want to work on their own schedule.
Community Building Tools
Whether it be a weekly blog, monthly newsletter, or daily social media post, communicating with your clients is essential in today’s world. Blogs can be especially helpful, as they improve your SEO (search engine optimization), reinforce your expertise in the industry, and provide important information clients need to know. As the internet continues to change the way in which individuals interact with companies, it’s increasingly important to build an online rapport with your clients.
Social media also offers a couple of benefits for community building. You’re able to improve customer support, post important updates, and develop your firm’s brand. In addition to this, social platforms like Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook have groups that allow you to engage with other industry members. Online is the best place to share ideas, best practices, and industry news. (It also provides great platforms for hiring practices, too!)
These are just a few of the tools out there that can change how you do business. Give one of these a try and see how it can improve your accounting firm. Staying ahead, or at least aware, of the technological game will serve you and your colleagues well in the future.
Want to learn how Taxify can help you improve your business? Let us know! We have a partner program that will empower your business to expand their portfolio without taking on sales tax risk.