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Entries in accountants (2)

Monday
Feb062017

Three Benefits of Maximizing Your Relationship with Your Accountant

This byline was originally featured in Home Business Magazine.

 

Small business owners: tax season has kicked off, which means you’ll be speaking to your accountant again. But did you know that accountants can do so much more for your business than filing taxes? In fact, for independent business owners and freelancers, it’s highly valuable to work with accountants throughout the entire year.

Here are three ways you and your business can prosper by working with accountants beyond March and April.

Finding New Revenue Opportunities

As a business owner, you’re in charge of so many different aspects of a company, from marketing to operations and HR. While basic bookkeeping may seem like a necessary to-do on your list, working with an accountant allows you to outsource this task. Not only can you benefit from their ability to expertly manage your books, you’ll also reap rewards from having their experienced eyes tracking your numbers. These days, many forward-thinking accountants can use cloud-based solutions to maintain a great handle on your company’s financial standing. This enables them to provide strategic advice on areas to expand your business.

Future-Proofing the Business

Risks are an inherent part of any business. It’s hard to anticipate them, but working with an accountant can improve your chances of surviving through uncertain times. When accountants have both your historical and real-time financial data at their fingertips, they can help you develop a better business plan. You may have an idea of when your peak and off seasons are, but accountants can enhance your business plan to help you maintain a steady cash flow during the off months.

Gaining an Extra Lookout

As a business owner, you see that money is constantly churning, from an influx of revenue to an excess in spending to manage inventory. As such, it’s hard to discern what’s draining your resources. Working with an accountant year-round enables them keep an eye on your cash flow and share timely advice about your business. For example, you may be using various contractors to fix different parts of your business, from lights to computers. Accountants, who see these invoices uploaded, may recommend consolidating vendor services to ensure you’re getting the best deals for services you need.

Running a successful business isn’t easy. In fact, nearly 50 percent of all small businesses fail within five years. By working with your accountant beyond the tax season, you can discover new growth opportunities, prepare for future threats to your business, and minimize inefficiencies.

Monday
Nov302015

The 4 P's of Succeeding in the Cloud

From our close interaction with thousands of accountants, we have learned that most accountants:

  • Want to begin to migrate to the cloud, if they haven't already done so; and
  • Share some apprehension about the potential risks of cloud migration.

Another fact we uncovered is that many accountants are unaware of the tremendous benefits the cloud offers to accountants.  Making the 3 Ps (Product, Process, and Solution Partner) your guiding factors can minimize your risk and maximize your rewards, but the most important factor for harnessing the cloud is the fourth P – your Passion. Your passion for your practice will lead you to find innovative ways to harness the cloud to revamp your practice in ways you never thought possible.

Product

Obviously, the first thing necessary to harness the cloud is to choose software that both takes advantage of the remarkable capabilities of the cloud to overcome the challenges you currently face and creates new opportunities for you. This requires a completely fresh approach to software design.

For example, with accounting software, Do-it-Yourself (DIY) solutions, created for small businesses, have dominated accounting on the desktop. Despite the limitations of this kind of software, and the problems this approach created for accountants, DIY software was the only viable option on the desktop. Most accounting software producers, including Intuit, Xero, and Sage, have chosen to use the same DIY approach for their cloud solutions.

Other solution providers, including AccountantsWorld and Thomson Reuters, have taken a different approach. They have created solutions that take full advantage of the one of the most important capabilities of the cloud: collaboration.  These solution providers have created professional accounting systems that include not only powerful trial balance and financial reporting, but also complete bookkeeping capabilities. In these systems, accountants work collaboratively with their clients while retaining the power to customize their services to best serve each client’s needs. This unique approach makes it easier for accountants to offer complete accounting services.

When choosing a software product, be sure to evaluate solutions based on both models - the DIY model and the new accountant-focused, collaborative professional model - to see which offers more benefits for your practice.

Processes

On the desktop, integration between different applications makes data exchange between applications seamless. The cloud takes integration between applications to a higher level, making it possible to use integration between different applications to greatly streamline your workflow. For example, with the seamless integration of a cloud-based payroll system like Payroll Relief with Excel spreadsheets, bank ACH processing systems, and IRS and state e-filing and tax payment systems, payroll processing becomes highly efficient and virtually painless, with no compliance headaches. This has enabled thousands of accountants to offer highly profitable payroll services to their clients. Similarly, integrating accounting systems with smart phones, document management systems, and bank ACH systems makes offering bill payment services easy, efficient, and profitable.

To take advantage of these capabilities, you will need to re-evaluate and re-engineer your own internal processes, and to align your business model with technological advances. Fixed fee and value pricing have become the new norm for maximizing firm profitability and client satisfaction. 

When evaluating cloud solutions, make sure to analyze how well the solutions you consider can streamline your workflow and processes to increase efficiency and productivity.

Partner

Accountants know how important having the right partner can be for a firm. Having the right solutions partner is just as important for the success of your firm.

For many accounting and payroll solution providers, your small business clients are their primary customers, and accountants are only secondary customers. However, there are solution providers whose only customers are accountants, and who are focused on accountants’ needs.

When evaluating cloud solutions, it is important to factor in your potential solution partner’s long-term commitment to your success in your decision-making process.

We hope you’ve found this short guide useful for your cloud strategy. Please contact me with any additional questions.

 

About the author

 

Dr. Chandra Bhansali (CBhansali@AccountantsWorld.com) is the Co-Founder and CEO of AccountantsWorld – a leader in cloud solutions for accountants. AccountantsWorld offers innovative solutions for accounting, payroll processing, practice management, and much more. AccountantsWorld has helped thousands of accountants revamp their practices by harnessing the cloud. Learn more at AccountantsWorld.com.