Silver Linings in a Pandemic Year
The 2020 Pandemic has brought about so many changes in the way accounting firms work. It has been devastating on many levels, and it is not over, however I believe a best practice is to search for silver linings in what has taken place this year. Believe it or not, there are several positive things to consider. How about…
1. Proving that your firm can work remotely, and your staff can be productive.
2. Forcing firms to embrace new technology and the many efficiencies that it offers.
3. Being there when it counted most and showing clients that their accountant is without a doubt their most trusted (and critical) business advisor
Technology has been a major contributor to much what firms have been able to accomplish under these conditions. It has created efficiencies and increased productivity and capacity and provided tools for communication and collaboration that have revolutionized the way business is getting done. There is no business or person that has not relied on the transportability of phones, tablets, laptops, apps, and software platforms that have allowed work and connection from anywhere at any time. Technology has created a larger playing field and more opportunities for us all to work differently and in some ways, better.
Accounting firms are leveraging technology not just to improve their firms internally to be more efficient. They have done that, but they have also leveraged it to grow new revenue streams and create new opportunities to expand client relationships and generate new business. At a rapid pace, accounting firms are embracing technology to open new paths to revenue by creating technology practice areas.
Many firms now offer a range of new technology services and solutions to clients. They have created powerful services for cyber security, mobile security, client and data analytics, managed IT, and a host of other solutions that create new ways to interact and help clients. Many of the new solutions are more advisory in nature as well so it is a great fit for expanding the accounting firm’s scope, reach, and ability to help business owners secure data and information, connect the dots between financial reports, and provide more meaningful advice.
Of course, technology talent and expertise are necessary to provide these services and having the right people, in-house, with the knowledge and ability can be expensive and time consuming. It can also mean greater risk, especially if one of the areas you are going to work in is cyber security. Imagine the disaster that could strike the firm when one of the firm’s top 10 clients has a major data breach. Without the resources to effectively respond, the CPA firm is exposed. Further, finding a topflight computer engineer or information systems analyst is just as difficult as finding a 3-5 year CPA who can be groomed as a leader in the firm.
A solution for accounting firms with technology practices is to establish relationships with trusted technology partners that can help keep up with changes in cyber security, data analytics, and managed IT and also can lend additional depth in talent and expertise when it is needed.
Five Advantages of Technology Partnering
Add depth and expertise when needed to an existing team without the investment and maintenance of tools and staff
Provide clients more advanced services that would be difficult (or not possible) to provide on your own
Compete with other firms that have technology services
Increase the scope of advisory services you can provide to clients who already know and trust your firm
Eliminate some risk that goes along with providing technology services
Find a Technology Partner That
Complements what you are doing with clients and wants a relationship with you…not your clients.
Has expertise in an area where more depth and talent would open new opportunities for you to grow.
Meets the very real needs of your clients in the current market.
Creates more opportunities to enlarge your role as the most trusted business advisor.
Are highly reputable and have demonstrated history in the service they provide.
At the intersection of people and perspectives is where innovation and fresh thinking come to life. Partnering with people who have a different take on a situation and bring new options can be a terrific growth strategy.
The 2020 pandemic is certainly one for the books and for firms that normally struggle with change and thinking outside the box, it has generated enormous opportunities to do just that.
Find Your Next Technology Partner
Technology services are at the forefront of new growth services offered by accounting firms. Data analytics and information security are of highest importance and offer a path to more advisory services and greater client safety.
Pruett Growth Partners helps firms keep pace with changing technology needs of clients and the talent required to serve clients at a high level by partnering with premier technology and cyber security providers that help accounting firms deliver more advanced services, increase service opportunities, and reduce investment risks.
Pruett Growth Partners is well positioned to connect your firm today to leading technology providers in cyber security, mobile security, client analytics, and managed IT.