If you’re an accountant, independent bookkeeper, and a QuickBooks Pro Advisor, you know that your profession is facing massive change — driven primarily by the explosive growth of digital technology. How you operate and how you deliver service matters. It’s not just about anticipating changes that will occur in the market — those already have and are happening. What’s more important, writes M. Darren Root , a CPA, CITP, CGMA and CEO of RootWorks, in a recent QuickBooks Pro Advisor Newsletter, is that “these technologies are changing client behavior and expectations. We’ve officially entered the Age of Disruption,” he says, “where changes in consumer behavior are converging with the advancement of technological tools, creating uncharted territory for businesses around the globe.”
Are you a Blackberry, a Galaxy, or an Apple?
Root cites the rapid rise and fall of Research In Motion (RIM) – the company that created the BlackBerry, as a cautionary tale of a company’s error in evolving its platform to keep up with competitive technologies. “In 2006,” he says, “10 million people couldn’t live without a ‘Crackberry.'” But five years later, they were eclipsed by newer, consumer-responsive technologies.”Now,” he urges, “is the time to make changes to meet the current and future needs (and wants) of your ideal clients.”
Be a Scout. Be prepared!
According to Root, to be ready for tomorrow, and the day after QuickBooks Pro Advisors must:
- – Understand the wants, needs and purchase motivations of a new kind of client; and
- – Remain ahead of the curve, as the market continues to experience perpetual change and disruption.
Technology matters. And the technology that matters most is the ones your clients already use, plan to use, or may only have heard about…
“It is imperative,” he says, “to pay attention to what is happening, both inside your firm and outside, in the environment where your clients live. While this may seem pretty obvious, it’s also easy to lose sight of developing trends when you are busy getting the day-to-day stuff done.” Root underscores the need to plan how to respond to client demand for services clients want, but which you may not currently offer, and to lead clients “toward solutions that you develop to completely satisfy their financial needs.”
To better serve clients, Root cites the results of a recent Accenture survey as key to your business’ health. These include:
- – Analytical skills – Make a point of anticipating trends in the market and changes customer behavior. If your residential contracting client, for example, is giving his team leaders smart devices/pads, think about what financial and/or business management solutions you can offer to help them run their businesses smarter.
- – An adaptive mindset – Be flexible. See change in your markets and adapt your go-to-market and client service strategy accordingly. According to Root, this often involved lateral thinking about how they could leverage change to grow outside of their traditional core businesses.
- – Agility – Be responsive. See what’s happening and make the right acquisitions and investment in your organization or practice to take advantage of “ripening” market opportunities.
Most importantly, Root adds, “develop a business model that addresses clients’ desire to have easily accessible services that are connected within a larger ecosystem by integrative technologies and tools such as micro-apps (small apps that do a single function, yet can be connected together to create a completely customized solution)…to create a cohesive and connected experience for our clients at all of our organization’s touch points. Ideally,” he adds, “we should be delivering service solutions that are simple, seamless and salient for our clients, while also providing the exceptional service that builds loyal relationships and an affinity for our brand. It may not be easy, but it is critical to success in the Age of Disruption.”
Knowify is one such solution that can help QuickBooks Pro Advisers keep the playing field level. We’re already helping accountants and QuickBooks Pro Advisors bring powerful project management and automation tools to their construction contractor clients. This not only brings big value to their clients, but also big value to the advisor – client relationship. If you have any questions or wish to share your feedback, you can find us at email@example.com.
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