SmartVault Featured on DM Disruption
What better way to kick off the new year than with an interview with our favorite power duo – Dania Buchanan, President of SmartVault, and Dawn Brolin, CPA, CFE, CEO, at Powerful Accounting and author of The Designated Motivator?
As the host of “The DM Disruption” podcast, Dawn meets with various industry thought leaders to talk about changemakers and motivators in the accounting profession. They share their insights on strategy, success, and self-motivation in the hopes of motivating other professionals to achieve more in their practice and personal lives. In the January 5th episode, Dawn and Dania sat down to chat about embracing the hybrid working culture, work-life balance, and how SmartVault is helping accounting firms make the most of all of the new opportunities available to them.
“I’m smart, so I use SmartVault” – Dawn Brolin
The Importance of Face-to-Face Relationships
To kick off the episode, Dawn and Dania discussed the importance of in-person relationships and the pandemic’s impact on them. Accountants worldwide have built their practices on relationships with their clients. Because the pandemic has changed what that means, Dania believes that people are now desperate for physical connection with other people. Though Scaling New Heights took place back in October, Dawn still took time to reflect on how great it was to see so many professionals in person for the first time in months – including SmartVault team members who gave her some insight into some significant changes happening here at SmartVault.
The Inside Scoop
In this episode of The DM Disruption podcast, Dania shared some big SmartVault news! We acquired two new tech solutions – Quoters and DocDown! For a while, the team here at SmartVault asked themselves, “Where can we plugin features that will augment and make the workflow more efficient?” Both solutions are designed to answer this question and automate low-value tasks, allowing you to prioritize your focus into billable hours. These acquisitions, combined with the SmartVault platform, are expected to make the day-to-day life of business professionals more productive than ever before.
“If your software providers aren’t moving forwards, then they are moving backward.” – Dawn Brolin
We’re Seeing Big Shifts Due to COVID-19 (Spoiler Alert: They’re good shifts!)
Since the pandemic, there have been several downfalls, but we have also seen many positive transformations. Dania shared a story about her son recently pivoting his career from videography to accounting, and now he’s going to get his CPA certification next spring! Why the switch? He had attended a few accounting conferences as a videographer with Dania in the past and saw how great the industry is. When the pandemic hit and conferences became 100% virtual, Dania’s son was no longer utilizing his skills as a videographer. So he found a way to continue serving this industry, and that was to join the industry officially. He was already familiar with accounting and bookkeeping from managing low-budget films, and soon he will be able to support independent filmmakers after graduating.
Career changes weren’t the only shifts we saw due to the pandemic; the idea of working from home became more widely accepted. When SmartVault moved to a work-from-home structure, they ensured that all their teams had the resources to do so. This included sending employees home with laptops and monitors. SmartVault became a must-have for their client’s tech stack as everyone shifted to social-distancing friendly work life. We saw new and unique clients come through, some significantly behind in terms of technology.
As things begin to return to normal, the idea of working remotely or having a hybrid setup will remain. Here at SmartVault, we’ve seen a majority of our Houston team return to the office, but many of the staff take advantage of the new flexibilities offered so that they can take care of themselves and their families. This includes utilizing technologies available to them to continue to work collaboratively and effectively even if they aren’t in the office.
Automation and tech are coming in to help with work-life balance so that you can do the things that make you YOU outside of work.
You Are Valuable. Your Time is Valuable.
Dawn is a big SmartVault advocate and enthusiast. She will tell you time and again that having a well-integrated tech stack is vital when it comes to saving time. She values her time so much that anytime one of her clients asks her to print their tax returns (versus retrieving it themselves in SmartVault), she charges $100! Does this sound crazy? Possibly, but Dania explains that your time has value on it, and here at SmartVault, we’ve been encouraging customers to value their time the same way that Dawn has.
Dania also emphasized the need for firms to ensure they are using the right technology and tools to be more efficient, not just to save time at work but to put more time back into their personal lives. If the pandemic taught us anything, it’s that life is short, and we should appreciate the opportunity to live it and enjoy it outside of the office.
“Change is hard, but what’s at the other end of the rainbow is worth every moment you put into it.” – Dawn Brolin
Last but not least, Dawn and Dania discussed how the accounting industry will see an increase in younger employees joining. These individuals are tech-savvy, they’re going to want flexibility, and they’re going to want to bring about change. If you wish to see these intelligent and hardworking individuals on your team, you need to enable them to do so. On top of that, small business owners need to start building a tech stack that works for a new generation within their client base. Younger clients want digital tools; they don’t want to pick up the phone. It’s no longer a debate about whether or not you should use tech but that you have to adopt new technologies for optimum efficiency.
“If you’re a forward-thinking accounting professional, eventually you will have to have a succession plan (even if you don’t have plans to grow).” – Dawn Brolin
Check out the full podcast below!
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Schedule a 15-minute demo with one of our document management experts today!