With the sudden requirement for staff to work from home in 2020, many organisations naturally responded by quickly securing software that would make that achievable. In a rush, they brought in all sorts of tools, including video conferencing, extra layers of cybersecurity, and cloud solutions.
That last choice was a particularly good reaction, says Alan FitzGerald, head software whisperer at Practice Connections. Especially if it meant a dedicated cloud-based accounting practice management solution such as QuickBooks Online Accountant.
FitzGerald says accounting businesses can now utilise extra capability to enable high performance.
“It’s a really good time to re-evaluate,” he says. “It’s time to take a step back and appreciate the technology that is working for you, because you wouldn’t be in business otherwise. But what else can you do?”
So how does a business audit its tech and create future capabilities? Technology success starts with a plan, says FitzGerald.
“Often we don’t even understand those possibilities. So at the beginning it helps to simply sit back and wonder what you could do. It’s about having a childlike inquisitiveness,” he says.
“You should be asking questions such as, what else would you like to have managed by your software? Can you achieve real-time insight into business trends rather than relying on historical numbers in spreadsheets? What tasks are staff doing over and over again that you can automate?”
For this last question, ideas can come from frustrations, says FitzGerald, whether that’s the management of email marketing, building reports from disparate sources or numerous other repetitive, often dull, tasks.
“The question is how can we take the robot out of the human?” asks FitzGerald. “Invariably, businesses are only scratching the surface of the capabilities of their cloud software and what it can do in conjunction with other software available in the market.”
“The question is how can we take the robot out of the human?”
Once you have a plan – or even a wish list – it’s time to speak with an expert who will explain how to turn it into a reality.
Software with a magnifying effect
Consider the example of accounting practice management solution QuickBooks Online Accountant, says FitzGerald. Not only does it offer an enormous level of capability and increased productivity within its own functionality, it also integrates with numerous other software offerings.
In doing so it shares data, offering real-time insights into what’s going on within your business and within client businesses, revealing trends and patterns that were previously invisible.
Practitioners often don’t get what they need from practice management, whether that’s due to legacy technology or more modern technology with limited integration possibilities. This isn’t the case with Online Accountants.
“All roads lead to QuickBooks because they have worked with a variety of providers who provide numerous third-party tools that sit on top of QuickBooks Online Accountant,” says FitzGerald.
“If I want to do an advisory piece and I need to provide statistical benchmarking information to a client, I can choose the solution in the marketplace that works for me and for my clients. That’s the real power of a cloud-based, integrated system.”
FitzGerald believes the future is very exciting.
“You now have the choice of which way to go and what functionalities you want,” he says. “You can now create your own destiny rather than being tied to one software suite and one set of possibilities. That’s a very powerful idea.”
Find out more:
To find out how QuickBooks Online Accountant can supercharge your practice management, visit intuit.me/CAANZ22