One hundred seventeen billion. That is the dollar amount the accounting services industry is expected to reach by 2018.
How well you differentiate yourself from your competition will determine what percentage of that will belong to your LA accounting firm. However, that may depend on how you embrace technology.
Technology will allow you to be more efficient and give you the opportunity to offer more services while saving you money. Let’s look at the ways technology is changing the world of LA accountants.
How Technology Brings Benefits
Before spending any time or money on technology, you need to ask yourself what you need it for, and if it will be a benefit to the core business.
Here are just a few of the ways technology can help:
- The Paperless Office - Going digital is one way LA CPAs and accountants can streamline and become more efficient and cost-effective.
- Going paperless can result in hundreds of dollars saved in paper and copier costs alone, not to mention the savings in man-hours and wages spent.
- Office space is freed up, and searching for documents is no longer a hide and seek journey through filing cabinets and boxes of stored documents.
- Also, digital files can be accessed and worked on by more than one person at a time. Collaboration is improved, as well as the speed with which projects are finished.
- It is much easier to backup digital files and store them for disaster recovery purposes.
- Automation, Diversification, and Accuracy - Time consuming data entry, invoicing, and other manual processes can be automated. Today’s LA accountants do more than just taxes!
- You and your staff are free to focus on areas that bring more ROI such as consulting, information analysis, or diversifying into areas such as risk management or high-level tax planning strategies.
- Less manual data entry means less human error, and with much of the calculation done automatically, accuracy becomes a marketable feature of your firm.
- Staff Stability - Through utilizing automation and other benefits of technology, you can more easily project long term costs for your Your need for additional staff during peak times will be less, and, therefore, you will not have excess staff to layoff during slower periods.
- Client Interaction – Software as a Service (SaaS) and other web and cloud based technologies allow you to offer interactive services to your clients.
- Portal based solutions and interactive and mobile-friendly websites streamline your workflow.
- Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn need to be vital pieces of your overall strategy for finding and retaining clients.
The Bottom Line
Clients expect more today, and LA accountants need to be prepared. ROI and client satisfaction are reasons to invest in technology.
If you do not have the expertise or knowledge in-house, there are third party vendors, such as FPA Technology Services, Inc., who can provide you solutions from consulting to managed services. You do not have to lose clients to competitors who have the advantage of better technology.
What advantages, or disadvantages, do you feel technology has brought to LA accountants? Let us know your thoughts in the Comments box below.
And to follow-through on the tips introduced in this short article, be sure to download your free guide, 12 Ways for CPA Firms in LA to Utilize Technology More Efficiently.