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5 Technological Advances to Transform Your CPA Firm

Filed Under (Private Cloud) by Nick Chandi on 06-05-2016

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They say history repeats itself. In the past, those who prevailed had more advanced technology. Genghis Khan and his warriors had the bow and arrows while riding horses. USA had their atomic bomb in World War 2. These are extremes but some can see wars as a symbolic representation to the competitive landscape in business. Firms need to have a competitive edge to stand out and perform better than the rest – why choose your firm instead of the many others? Here is some technology that you should look out for to see if it fits the future of your firm. Some of them work well together so it’s no secret that these technological advances will continue to grow with or without your firm.

Cloud – Enhance collaboration & security

Cloud is leveraged to improve productivity and efficiency. It allows you to collaborate with your team without worrying about overlapping each other’s work in. It also allows you to access those files from almost any device. It also mitigates the risk of your hardware crashing and losing your client’s data. When the data is in the cloud, you will never lose it because of the backup systems implemented into the servers they are stored in. The cloud is what really integrates everything below. If you don’t trust it, let’s face it – you’re probably using it right now. Your email is a cloud solution.

Automation – Improve productivity

Not only does the cloud allow automated processes, setting automated systems in-house is possible too. This is where you boost efficiency that leading to saving time so you can allocate it to other areas in the business. For example, if you are stuck doing manual backups you will be spending more money and time versus your competitors that have already automated their systems. Let’s say you are paying an employee $20/hour and one of their daily duties is to follow a backup protocol that takes 15 minutes a day. Based on this set wage, that would be about $5/day. There are about 261 working days in a year so that would be $1305 a year to get your employee to manually backup your data. There are probably more valuable tasks you can get that employee to conduct with the 3915 minutes used to backup data. This will improve your bottom line while they accelerate with efficiency.

Mobile – Create a flexible work Environment

We are using mobile devices more and more every day – from your Android phone to your iPad. This allows employees to work from their client’s location, from home, or even on vacation – eliminating the necessity of working only in the office. This can reduce travel time, reduce hardware costs, and improve customer relationships in a more flexible work environment. Through the power of the cloud and with the right solution, your firm can access data and applications from any device that is connected to the internet. Technological advances have also improved the security of your data to make this possible. Your whole office can work outside of the office with real-time collaboration and communication. With mobile phones becoming a part of ordinary life, allow your firm to leverage it as an opportunity to improve productivity.

Analytics – Make smarter decisions for the future

Analytics allows you to make the right business decisions. With the big data and IoT technology emerging, a vast amount of information is allowing business owners make smarter decisions with the data. If you can understand what is working for your company and what isn’t, you are able to eliminate what is unnecessary and double-down on what is really helping you move towards growth. You will be able to produce more accurate forecasts and create more efficient processes from them. One example is tracking your marketing efforts. If one tactic is not helping the growth of your business, remove that expense and allocate it to another tactic that actually is working. Analytics can also be used for employee retention, customer loyalty, and consumer behavior. Being able to obtain and implement the data will give your firm a major advantage in the competitive landscape.

Social – Create a stronger internet presence

If they don’t know who you are, they aren’t going to give you revenue. Social media isn’t a trend, it’s actually what takes up a lot of time of consumers. According to Statics Brain (http://www.statisticbrain.com/social-networking-statistics/), Canadians spend an average of 7.7 hours per month engaging in social media. The difference with social media and traditional advertising is that people CHOOSE to participate in social media. Most of us tune out all the advertisement clutter we see or hear during our daily activities. If you want to get in front of current or potential clients, go to place where they choose to be regularly. Remember, if they don’t know of your company, they won’t like or trust your company and social media is a cost effective way of gaining exposure.

Summary – Dominate.

When pursuing a high-performing practice, integrating the above technologies will move you towards the right path. You will want to have the advanced technology that your competitors do not have so you can stay ahead of them. History repeats itself, and if you don’t play along you may be missing opportunities.

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