I am a Digital Accountant – so what!

by Jake Martin, Title Text

2 min read

If we think back to the 1990s then we can come up with countless examples of firms using the ‘e’ prefix or the .com suffix.   This was largely fuelled by the mass adoption of the internet and the desire of companies to seem relevant, regardless of the reality or even (in some cases) if they had a website!

 Fast forward to today and I think we have a similar situation.  Cloud has been one of the biggest technological innovations in our life-time.  Coupled with the use of smart phones, it has created powerful and highly scalable platforms that have revolutionized how services can be delivered and consumed.  From Facebook to Netflix and Uber to Air BnB, no industry has escaped the disruption caused by cloud based technology.   The hype has been overwhelming and every business, large or small, is surrounded by marketing messages telling them that they can not afford to miss out ….  ‘cloud it’ now… or die!

I spoke to a firm last week and they described themselves as a ‘Digital Accountant’.  When I asked them what does this mean, their response was ‘well, our office is paperless and we encourage all clients to use cloud based software’.  For me, that misses the point.

In Jamie Notter’s book ‘When Millenials take over’ he states that the key is becoming customer obsessed and basing services around 4 fundamental aspects – Clear, Fluid, Fast and Digital.  He argues that the successful companies are not just changing what they are doing but the way they are thinking.  The mind set needs to focus on offering services that are transparent, agile, responsive and use relevant technology that focuses on the client.  I would strongly argue that using cloud software helps with every aspect of the above but it is the mindset and not the technology that is critical.

In the months ahead ask yourself some of the following questions:

     How can we learn from some of the truly disruptive companies of the last 10 years such as Uber and Netflix?

     Who are our top 3 biggest competitors and what do they do that is better than us?

      If you were to explain our services and pricing to a 10 year old would it make sense?

      How long does it take to respond to customers – regardless of how they get in touch?

      How easy is it for clients to access critical information, from anywhere at any time?

      In 2016 what are you going to stop doing, start doing and continue to do?

      When is the last time you actually changed anything meaningful, was it easy?

Through out 2016, we will be offering a range of free seminars to partner firms, facilitated by industry experts focused on how to market and price your services.  If you are interested then please let me know.

Alex Davis is Business Development Manager at Intuit UK. Follow him on Twitter.

For more Accountant News, please visit our Small Business Centre

Information may be abridged and therefore incomplete. This document/information does not constitute, and should not be considered a substitute for, legal or financial advice. Each financial situation is different, the advice provided is intended to be general. Please contact your financial or legal advisors for information specific to your situation.

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