Top 5 Things Accountants are Thankful For in 2016
With the first-ever AccountEx USA conference under our belt, and Thanksgiving right around the corner, we asked thought leaders across the accounting industry – what are you thankful for in 2016? After listening to keynote speakers, and talking to customers and conference attendees at AccountEx, here’s what we learned:
- Being yourself has never been more profitable. In a world overloaded with choice, you have the chance to stand out and attract clients you want to work with. You don’t have to be afraid to be yourself and make your values known—just make sure that your message is clear and consistent. During her keynote address, Owning Your Brand, Geni Whitehouse of Even a Nerd Can Be Heard, said, “Use your message as a qualifier. Be who you are and put it out there and if someone doesn’t respond, they aren’t a good fit.” By allowing yourself to attract the clients you want to work with, you will build your brand and have more fun while working. Who isn’t thankful for that?
- Automation is making your transition to strategic advisor even easier. With advances in technology, routine tasks such as data entry are quickly becoming automated. The promise of Artificial Intelligence (AI) integrations in your accounting software takes automation one step further by providing quick analysis of data. Don’t let this intimidate you – it’s a huge opportunity to transition from bookkeeper to strategic advisor. As Jennifer Warawa of Sage said during her keynote, Shifting from Relevant to Indispensable, “Let the technology do the diagnosing so you can find the cure.” You’ll have more time to recognize trends that will help your customers make key decisions to grow their businesses.
- The need for strategic advisors is greater than ever. Great news- it’s not only becoming easier to transition to a strategic advisor; the demand is huge! Customers expect that you have automated routine tasks so you’ll have more time to help them strategize on their business decisions. When new technology is released, or current events shake up the market, you’re the first person your client turns to for advice – and you’re ready to help them every step of the way.
- Right now, there are big opportunities to do things differently. Sure, this one is vague, but it’s never been more true. Innovation in technology is developing at a rapid pace allowing you to be on the cutting edge of change. Take the time to explore new trends and experiment with these trends in your own business. As Jennifer Warawa said during her keynote, “The secret to sustainable innovation? Taking your eye off the ball.” Don’t get stuck doing things the way they’ve always been done—challenge yourself to ask the question “Is there a way this can be done better?”.
- You can see the future. Artificial Intelligence (AI), machine learning, advanced data analytics—all are paving the way for you to see the future. Reporting on the past has its place (you know what they say about history repeating itself), but there’s not a ton of immediate value for your clients. Use the new tools and technology available to you to see things before they happen. Is your client going to run out of cash flow right before next week’s payroll? Let them know and show them how they can pivot to avoid this disaster. They will be amazed with your service and expertise which builds brand loyalty for you.
- Bonus: You don’t have to re-invent the wheel. There are plenty of tools that already exist to help you streamline your workflow so you can focus on what matters – helping your clients succeed. SmartVault is trusted by tens of thousands of accountants world-wide. We help you automate routine tasks with our built-in accounting workflows (anybody want to send out 100 client organizers at once with the click of a button?), while keeping your documents secure with our bank-level encryption and military grade backup facilities. If you want to learn more, we recommend attending one of our group demos to see SmartVault in action.
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