“At some point being cautious means you are falling behind.”
It is well established that CPA firms are typically not at the leading edge of any technology shifts. We write it off to being prudent or methodical, but the fact remains that on the technology adoption curve, most CPAs fall in the category of late majority.
Technology evolved at firms in a piecemeal way. Most systems were essentially siloed – single purpose solutions designed for discrete tasks. As a result, the technology footprint for the typical firm is characterized by multiple systems on multiple platforms. There’s no question that the staff got value out of the project management, tax, and audit solutions; however supporting the multiple systems – end users and IT – can be a challenge.
It will continue to be a challenge, and impact staff productivity and efficiency, until a more integrated, streamlined technology approach is adopted. The place to start is where you get the biggest bang – integrating audit and tax workflow on a single system.
The idea is simple – in most firms the same staff touch some part of both processes. Leveraging a single source to run your plays creates wins for virtually all stakeholders in your processes:
- For the Partners: Oversight capabilities are significantly improved as they access one system to check in on client status. Reporting and communications are simplified.
- For the Managers: Managers have greater visibility into each engagement and the pipeline of work. History, comments, activities and other client related information is more readily accessible.
- For the Staff: One learning curve to navigate, consistent, repeatable processes, more expertise is built around the single application – more power users for the organization to leverage.
- For IT: One system to implement, license and maintain means simplified technology footprint.
We believe this falls under the category of “it’s not a question of if, it’s a question of when.” As competitive pressures increase and clients demand more for their spend, creating better, more efficient processes is mandatory. Status quo likely means you are falling behind. Why wait?