Embracing technological change is always a challenge, particularly in the field of accounting. How can you keep ahead of the curve without adding even more to your professional education workload?
Accountants were actually early adopters of desktop software packages. They were useful (indeed critical) tools – but tools are of little use without the skills and perspective of a trained professional who is able to bridge the gap between the technology and the needs of the clients and the practice as a whole.
The surge in popularity of online client-facing accounting systems now adds a new dimension and will mean that there is a real competitive advantage to be gained if your firm can offer the right kind of expertise.
But this expertise isn’t simple to master, especially for those of us who might have completed our schooling prior to the arrival of the world wide web. The kind of senior professionals who might be much more comfortable with an Excel spreadsheet on an office desktop rather than a Xero plugin on a smartphone.
To solve this problem some firms are seeking to add a partner who already has appropriate skills in place – a Tech Partner.
Recruiting partners to grow your business isn’t a new idea in itself, but traditionally a new partner was brought in to expand an existing service offering.
Now we’re seeing the new partner being sought specifically in order to add new techincal expertise and improved workflow capabilities across the business, resulting in both increased profits margins and client engagement.
It requires that the rest of the firm be able to adapt to the new methodologies. Existing partners will need to incorporate the new service offering in their client pitch and will need to cooperate with the new partner directly to leverage their new skill set.
Oh – and you need to find the partner with the complementary skill set in the first place.
But for the firms that can negotiate these challenges, the result is a service offering that is much more competitive and profitable in the medium to long term.
It’s not the only alternative, of course. The missing capability can be sourced via joint ventures, mergers, new junior employees… you need to find the right option for your business.
Practice Exchange can help – get in touch if you’d like to know more.