By Julie Lubetkin, VP of Strategic Partners
If you had to choose between a rotary phone and a smartphone, which one would you select?
Sure, the landline phone has a certain nostalgia. But it does take a minute or so to dial out on it. The smartphone not only calls, but offers an array of apps that make your life decidedly easier.
So which phone wins? I don’t think there’s much of a guessing game here.
The point of that exercise is this: Technology makes a difference in your decision-making process. And if it makes a difference to you, it definitely makes a difference to your clients.
In a study conducted by The Sleeter Group, 85 percent of small business owners surveyed said they want their accountant to help them be more proactive in helping them find and use technologies that can help them be more productive. And 76 percent reported that their current accountant was not being proactive enough. This next metric shouldn’t shock you: 70+ percent reported that they had changed their accounting firm in the past at least in part because the firm only provided responsive services.
The message is clear – paper-based operations and outdated technology won’t bring in new business. In fact, they contribute to negatives such as lapses in communications, a prevalence of labor-intensive, low-value activities and the biggest trespass of all – the inability to perform as a trusted financial advisor who can quickly identify big-picture performance and trends and act accordingly for clients.
Perhaps your system works well for you. But I challenge you to ask yourself these questions:
- Can I access my clients’ information whenever I need it through any device including PC, laptop, tablet or smartphone?
- Can I offer my clients important document management capabilities that reduce paper reliance and create a library of important information for both my firm and my clients?
- If a natural disaster wiped out my office, would I still be able to continue business as usual the next day?
If your firm is heavily paper-reliant, then answering yes to these points may not be an option. Additionally, you might not be providing your clients with the service and convenience they deserve. This may lead clients to search for other accounting firms. And conversely, it might prevent businesses from actively seeking out or considering your firm for services.
However, the transition to more modern operations built on cutting-edge yet easy-to-use technology does not have to be a challenging transition. Careful planning and strategic insight can ensure you adopt firm-elevating technology that will impress your clients and significantly increase the efficiency of your operations.
I invite you to join us for a webinar with Doug Sleeter, founder and president of The Sleeter Group, as he presents Playbook Essentials. Scheduled for Wednesday, April 23 at 11 am PT, the webinar will examine how to:
•Execute strategic imperatives as outlined in the Strategic Imperatives Matrix, a checklist with tips that can guide you through changing times
•Tailor your service offerings to meet broader client needs
•Plan for uncertainty with nimble strategies
•Prioritize market opportunities and choose clients with sustainable demand
•Understand and identify technology trends and need
Register now. After all, you don’t want to be the rotary phone in a land of smartphones.