Clients That Desperately Need Accountants using Cloud Technology
While we are now in the grip of tax season, clients should be seeking the insight and expertise of an accountant who is more tech savvy. Cloud technology in accounting is designed to improve the bookkeeping process with programs that help the client to gain more financial insight in their daily business operations. The use of today’s technology where financial matters are concerned, can be a bit scary and challenging all at once to business owners. Some people are open to embrace any modern concept that allows for an easier tax preparation experience. Then there are others who cringe at the idea of allowing technology to sort through their personal financial information.
The clients who are more likely to embrace the technological side of accounting for tax preparation will always seek out software that allows them to manage their own numbers. Unfortunately, some of this software runs on two to three-year cycles and must be upgraded to maintain their functionality in the key areas of accounting, such as payroll.
Save Time With An Accountant
Without the proper accounting background, at the year’s end the numbers just don’t add up and a great amount of time is wasted getting the numbers to make sense. This is where the expertise of a technology savvy accountant is needed to set things straight. In fact, the best time to seek the services of an accountant is at the start of the year so that he can be familiar with a client’s records. By the end of the year, the client and accountant can collaborate more effectively.
The clients that tend to salvage their invoices and receipts until tax time, place themselves at a huge disadvantage. They are not open to more conducive methods of bookkeeping, such as accounting software, much less cloud technology. For audits and tax season all the random, disorganized paperwork appears with the expectation that the accountant do the sorting. Had the documents been accessible to the accountant throughout the year, all paperwork would be in order and costs for services would be minimal.
Extra Work, Extra Fees
Either way, these clients who take a very basic approach to keeping track of their yearly finances, are usually unhappy with the fee for services. It is more economical for them to employ the services of the accountant through the year. Paying on a monthly basis is better than having to pay a lump sum at the year’s end for services. If they weigh the two, they will find that less work is involved by keeping track as financial transactions happen.
Transitioning to Cloud Technology in Accounting
In moving to the cloud, there is an approach that works best for the DIY client. First, the accountant should make an inventory list of clients who use desktop software vs. those who use cloud. This will give the him an idea of when the desktop clients are nearing their time to update software, which is the perfect time to discuss making the switch to cloud accounting. They must be made aware of the benefits of using cloud and how it would best fit their industry and help them to make better decisions in other areas of business as well.
A Cloud Demonstration
For the clients that find it best to hide their paperwork until needed, a little more explanation of cloud technology is necessary. Since they are more cost-conscious, the accountant must show them exactly how it will benefit them overall financially by making the switch to cloud accounting. A demonstration of how the cloud will allow them access to their work in real time and an estimation of the difference in fees to maintain it on a monthly basis will appeal to them the most.
After a year of running the cloud for the client, they will be able to understand why it is the best accounting tool for them. Their real time cash flow balance and outstanding payments are shown on the cloud accounting platform. Here they will clearly see how the insight to their financial transactions is improved.
Jumping the Hurdles
Both types of clients come with certain challenges in convincing them that cloud accounting is best. The DIY client may feel that purchasing a software license is more cost-effective than investing in cloud technology. On the other hand, the traditional client may have to invest more for the technology, but will save in the long-run. The seamless bookkeeping process and the time savings will compensate for the extra investment.
Cloud accounting provides excellent security of the clients’ accounting records. Great care and cost goes into the protection and maintenance of sensitive information. The business owner would be unable to maintain this level of security in their offices. It is up to the accountant to stress this key factor to the client.
As the accountant introducing this new accounting concept, you must show them value and render your professional expertise. Acceptance may be delayed, however, at each meeting between you and your client, revert back to earlier conversations about cloud accounting. When they’re tired of the tedious duties, extra costs and confusion, they will come around.
On the topic of cloud technology, data security in your business this tax season is important to consider. Make sure when you file 1099 online or W-2 and other tax forms, ask your provider how they ensure your client data is secure.
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