Flipping the switch on technology

August 28th, 2020 by Matt Fox 3 minutes read

The accounting software market has exploded in recent years, and will be worth an astronomical $19.59BN by the year 2025. There’s an ongoing stream of new accounting tech providers hitting the market — all promising to make your firm more efficient, more accurate, and more successful.

But there are a couple of issues.

How do you know which piece of technology is right for your firm? And how should you approach improving your tech stack?

We sat down with Adriaan Basson, CA (SA), Practice Ignition customer and the founder of Wingman Accounting, to discuss why firms need to flip the switch on technology, focusing on staff outputs rather than technological inputs.

The problem

We’ve all been there. A new app launches and it’s taken the market by storm — receiving rave reviews, a significant amount of press, and already having some notable clients under its belt. You don’t want to miss out (especially as all your competitors seem to be jumping on board), so you hurriedly decide to invest.

When you actually introduce this new app, you begin to notice a problem. Your firm is very non-hierarchical and transparent. As such, everyone on the team is trusted to see all client data and make their own decisions off the back of this information. However, your new app only allows admins to see the full extent of client data — and any large activities require admin sign-off before they can begin.

Not only does this app make your internal processes more complex, but it directly goes against your well-established ways of working.

The solution

As Adriaan states, “You'll chat with different people and they'll each have different opinions on which apps are the best. However, the point is not which technologies are the best. There's no such thing as the best app. What I mean by this is you need to find apps that talk to the firm and the culture that you're building”.

You shouldn’t build cookie-cutter tech stacks. An app or a piece of technology is only as good as the firm that uses it. If your firm has a set way of doing things and this new piece of tech directly contravenes with this, then it’s hardly likely going to be useful.

In fact, employees may even end up resenting being forced to use it — especially if there was nothing wrong with the previous process that they had in place.

The key is to work backwards. What are your firm’s established ways of working? What are your culture and values like? What are your main daily struggles? It’s crucial that you have these answers in place before you begin searching for a new addition to your tech stack.

“Be wary of just copying and pasting what other firms are doing, because they might be very different in how they operate”, Adriaan highlights.

The right approach

At the end of the day, it’s worth remembering that people are at the heart of your firm — not technology. Sure, apps can have a transformative effect on accountants’ ways of working, but the key is that they actually enable people to do their jobs better. If a piece of technology is proving to be a hindrance then it’s not worth keeping — even if it has taken the market by storm.

Ready to take your practice’s customer-centricity to the next level? If so, it’s time you implemented Practice Ignition.

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