Alex Davis, Business Development Manager for Intuit UK, looks back on this year’s Accountex and starts thinking about how a psychological model can be applied to the accountancy profession
After a fantastic few days at Accountex, I now have time to reflect on the conversations and interactions we had with our current and prospective partners.
The thing that struck me the most is how evolved the conversations now seem to be regarding working in the cloud. It’s moved from curiosity to planning, which reminded me of the 4 stages of competence, a psychological model developed back in the 70s. I am sure that marketers will tell me that there are a better models, involving graphs and bell curves, but this seems to fit due to it focusing on awareness and ability. Let me explain by taking each stage in turn:
Here, the individual has no awareness or ability to deliver. Some may say this is where the partner has buried their head and does not want to change for a multitude of reasons.
This stage is a pretty stressful place to be. You know there is a problem or opportunity but you don’t have the ‘ability’ to do anything about it. Using our partner example, they see the potential of the cloud and they know there is demand but have no idea where to start… a defining moment!
At this stage, the partner has started to take action. They are putting a plan in place, they have run a ‘beauty parade’ of providers, engaged the marketing team, run some training but it’s hard work and a few of those Client Managers are hanging on with their finger nails….
This stage is where the Partner has integrated cloud software as business as usual and it’s effortless. Here, the Practice has:
- Trained staff that not only know how to use the software but are also comfortable about discussing the cloud, its benefits and can overcome objections
- Clear and commercially savvy pricing plan in place
- A preferred software vendor that offers a wide range of features and can be used to add value to most (if not all) clients
- Understanding of the 3rd Party Application Eco System and have a preferred option in all categories – receipt management, stock control, reporting etc…
- They look for ways to use the Cloud with every client rather than reasons not to
Again, the thing that struck me at Accountex was just how many firms are in the final 2 stages. In fact, the only reason firms seem to be stuck in the first 2 stages is down to not wanting to change anything at all, even charging in 6 minute blocks that is another matter all together.
Have a look at these 4 stages again and try and plot where you are. Wherever you think you are, we’re here to help.