To find out what it takes to become a true digital accountant you have to focus on your customers and their digital needs. Cloud accounting, its impact on customer behavior, state of mind to make your digital transition, discover all the tips to become a good digital accountant.
Cloud computing has had a profound impact on the accounting industry. It has completely transformed the profession.
Newer online accounting software, such as QuickBooks, NetSuite, or Xero for example, offers more than just accounting solutions. Cloud-based solutions are more like small business management platforms, providing the customer with an all-in-one solution. Hundreds of applications connect to the leading accounting solution, enabling data entry, project management, reporting and more.
What impact does this have on customer behavior?
The digital accountant is now seeing an increasing number of clients doing their own bookkeeping, as these cloud-based solutions are very easy to use, even without extensive knowledge of accounting or IT. Once they have entered the basic accounting information, your customers can access data and information that tells them the financial and accounting status of their business instantly.
What does that mean for accountants?
The really cool thing about it is that you are no longer burdened with non-value added tasks like book entry, year-end accounts, or tax returns. You now have much more time to develop more advanced services for your clients, such as providing information and advice.
From a simple accountant, you become the trusted advisor to your clients. Customers will perceive your new role to be of greater value to them and this will positively reflect in your bottom line. Contrary to some fears, the digital transformation of the accountant represents an opportunity for the profession.
How do you make that switch to digital accountant?
It is about meeting the new expectations of your customers.
First, you are now expected to be a "technologist" as well. With the arrival of the cloud, you need to know which application to connect to your cloud accounting software to make data entry fluid for your client, or a personnel management application that allows your client to manage their employees at multiple sites across the United Kingdom. This knowledge gives your business a competitive advantage and also helps your clients to easily manage their own accounting.
Your customers also expect you to be able to answer basic questions about the new apps they use. You may be asked to give some initial training on how best to use these apps in their cloud accounting solution. Many apps offer their own training and demos. So, as a "technologist" your role in general is to organize the training on the application between his client and the supplier of the application.
Becoming customer obsessed is the key to the role of a digital accountant. Your services must be based on four fundamental aspects: clear, fluid, fast and digital.
It is necessary to change his way of thinking. The mindset of digital accountants should be focused on delivering transparent, agile, responsive, and using the right technology that focuses on the client.
Cloud accounting software helps you with each of these four fundamental aspects. However, it must be in line with a certain state of mind.
Here are some questions to ask yourself to be sure you are ready to become a digital accountant:
- What can we learn from the model of truly disruptive companies of the last 10 years, like Uber or Netflix?
- Who are your 3 biggest competitors and what is their added value compared to you?
- If you had to explain your services and prices to a 10 year old, would that make sense?
- How long does it take to respond to customers?
- How easy is it for customers to access critical business information from anywhere, anytime?
- When was the last time you changed something big in the way you work, and had any major difficulties?
Once your digital transition has started, you won't look back and there are plenty of opportunities for growth.