Today’s business owners and managers demand an ever-increasing amount of real-time information, provided in easy-to-use dashboards so they can make decisions quickly. At our accounting firm, we’ve noticed that to flourish, we must be able to accommodate this thirst for services and information. Here are four ways we (and other accounting firms) are adapting to new technologies:
1. There’s an increase in “niche accounting.”
As an accounting firm that works with pest management businesses, we strive to not only be thoughtful and insightful about general accounting and tax information, but on common operational issues and government regulations affecting pest management professionals (PMPs) specifically. We view the pest control industry as offering time-based services whose volume of revenues translates into hours of service. This understanding is the catalyst that drives pricing and compensation policy, while ensuring these policies don’t run afoul of Department of Labor or other government guidelines.
2. Paper is out; digital is in.
Most of today’s managers prefer digital document storage over paper. It allows them full access to their documents when needed. Rather than calling their accountant to get a copy of a financial statement or a tax return, accounting firms that have gone paperless provide access to data vaults that are encrypted, and provide tiered access to clients depending on their role within the organization.
3. Cloud-based accounting systems.
Companies that use cloud-based software know it provides flexibility, in terms of 24/7 access anywhere there is internet access. Cloud solutions are usually subscription-based, making the monthly fee predictable. The most advantageous aspect of a cloud application is that there are no updates to install — the user always is plugged into the latest version. Because the application is hosted remotely, all users log in and are instantly connected in real time.
4. There’s an increase in outsourcing services.
While traditional accounting firms provide audit, tax and after-the-fact write-up services, with cloud-based accounting software and the use of artificial intelligence in document storage and management, it is now easy for many of them to also provide bookkeeping, accounts payable and invoicing services performed remotely for their clients. From a pricing and quality prospective for PMPs, we’ve seen the outsourced chief financial officer (CFO)/bookkeeping model become very efficient.
As business cycles now move more quickly than ever, pest management companies need to be agile and adapt to the latest technologies. Our clients expect answers to questions in a timely manner. They expect in-depth knowledge of the industry, communicated in terminology they understand. Clients expect their accountants to be ready when they call looking for answers to questions.
Speak to your accountant. Ask for his or her insights on business, taxes, financial and operational planning, as well as cloud accounting. These are conversations your competitors are having, and you should, too.
You can reach GORDON, a managing member of PCO Bookkeepers and PCO M&A Specialists, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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