The Future of Accounting is Online – part 2
Last week I looked at having access to client accounting systems and being able to collaborate in real-time, anywhere. This week I’d like to look at how the client relationship can change if they have a better understanding of their financials.
We have all seen the dragons tear apart a budding entrepreneur because they don’t know the numbers. There’s a reason why 80% of the world’s CEOs are ex-accountants and that’s because if you are serious about your business you need to know about the numbers.
The problem is unless you are an accountant – and most people aren’t, then financial information can be very confusing and frustrating. If the client and their accountant have the numbers at their fingertips, the accountant can act as the virtual Financial Director. With knowledge of the numbers then the accountant can help the client fly past the dragons.
This becomes powerful with online tools like Xero. The information is displayed in a way that the entrepreneur can understand, and it encourages them to take a greater interest in the numbers. As the entrepreneur’s interest and understanding grows, so does the importance of timely, accurate and reliable financial information. Typically a small business owner is familiar with their bank balance, but if we help them get a better understanding of the financial side of their business, they start to love it. In fact they often can’t get enough of it.
As well having the ability to better engage the client, an online system needs to have as all the essential, more technical aspects that I an accountant understand and want to use. This includes: manual journals, GST/VAT Return, reconciliation reports, audit trails, Management Report, Annual Report, Abbreviated Accounts and such like.
The combination of the two starts to make the accountant mission critical and changes the relationship we have with our clients – from one of compliance, to right hand man or woman. That’s got to be a better way to build business.
You can view the introduction to this series here.
17 September 2009 #