Digital Transformation is the Key to Staying CompetitiveJanuary 31, 2020
What is your accounting firm doing to embrace digital transformation?
BDO USA LLP recently announced the formation of a new practice focused solely on digital advisory. According to this AccountingToday article, the technology consulting practice will offer “services such as data governance, cybersecurity, data privacy, data analytics, IT outsourcing, application development, cloud deployment, IT managed services, and a variety of others.” Many big firms have started to implement similar practices and specialties. Digital transformation is clearly here to stay. Has your accounting firm considered how it will make the transition to this new reality?
The Impact of Digital Transformation
Accounting professionals will feel the impact of digital transformation in two regards. Firstly, there is its direct impact on their daily work lives. New technologies will continue to take on many of the more technical aspects of their work. This is sometimes framed in a negative light—as technology taking over the job of accountants. Rather than fearing new technology, accounting professionals should embrace it. Technology can take over much of the “busy work” for which CPAs are responsible. It leaves practitioners with more time to focus on advising their clients. It acts as an accelerator, allowing more work to be accomplished. This is a good thing.
Secondly, digital transformation is impacting many accountants’ clients. Knowledge about new technologies is an important skill. CPAs should learn how to advise their clients on which solutions will be most beneficial for them to deploy. The fees for compliance-related services are being driven down by the advent of advanced technologies. However, more and more clients are seeking firms that offer advisory-level work. Focusing in this area is how accounting firms can remain successful in the face of digital transformation.
Making the Digital Transformation
As your firm seeks to make a successful digital transformation, it should embrace new technologies thoughtfully and carefully. There are four very important areas of consideration as you contemplate purchasing a technology solution:
- Vision – First, as you seek out potential accounting software solutions for your firm, be sure to keep your vision and goals clearly in mind. Make sure that the solution you settle on is one that can support your practice as it becomes more and more digital. As your team members make the transition into a more advisory role, consider what software will allow them to operate most efficiently in the long run. Make sure that the solution you choose has both the capacity and resources to match your needs as your firm grows.
- Commitment – Next, remember that change is hard. Guiding your team in embracing new technology is a big job. You will often encounter retractors—team members who are reluctant to adopt new processes, or even outright hostile to the idea. Make sure that you have a solid plan in place for implementation and adoption of new technology.
- Cost – New software is usually expensive. This is why your plan for implementation and adoption is so important. You cannot simply write a check, deploy the technology, and expect it to work. Make sure that it is worth the investment. Consider if there is some way to pass along some of the extra cost to your clients.
- Integration – Lastly, the process of integrating client details into a new system is often time consuming. It is impacted by the size of your firm’s business and how orderly your records are currently kept. Make sure that you take the integration process into account as you plan for product implementation.
ABLE Supports Your Firm Through Digital Transformation
While digital disruption presents a threat to the traditional accounting role, technology is also a big part of the solution. ABLE, the CRM for CPAs supports users in making the compliance to advisory shift. It offers tools for relationship development, pipeline management, team accountability, and thought leadership. Additionally, the ABLE team is fully invested in helping user firms adopt the system fully. We offer training sessions, refresher sessions, facilitated pipeline meetings, regular webinars, and more.
Ready to invest in your firm’s digital transformation? Make ABLE your first step. Schedule a free, no-obligations demo today. Take advantage of the opportunity to talk with a CRM expert about how ABLE can guide your firm through digital disruption.