Many small business customers tell me they want more input from their accountants. In particular, they want strategic advice that goes beyond tax management and compliance requirements.
Reshaping the role accountants play
Growthwise founder, accountant and speaker at our recent QuickBooks Connect conference, Steph Hinds, says the knowledge business owners seek today from their accountants is greater than ever before.
She told me, “What many accountants forget is most small business owners didn’t go to business school. Some are following a passion, while some want flexibility and a better work-life balance. The common factor is that many don’t have a deep understanding of how to run a business or the support to do so.
“Given the rapid advancements in technology, like cloud accounting, accountants can now spend less time on tax and compliance related tasks and more time analysing data and advising clients on the really important business and operational matters, such as how to scale and grow.
“Every business is different, some owners are worried about cash flow, some are concerned about achieving a high level of efficiency, and others want to maintain a high level of flexibility.
“As accountants we need to tailor our skills to understand the unique needs of each client and turn this into high level value that will ultimately lead to continued growth and profitability for their business.”
The way forward
I’m delighted that at QuickBooks Connect we highlighted key ways for accountants to stay ahead of the game and be indispensable to their customers, including becoming a trusted advisor and a firm of the future.
We also showcased key product enhancements that simplify daily operations. For example, our recent launch of Practice Management, which is available in QuickBooks Online Accountant, enables accountants to have better end-to-end management of their customers in one place.
A new work dashboard is fully mobile-enabled, giving accountants the power to track their work in the same place where they get it done. The availability of this first set of practice management features is the first step toward providing an end-to-end practice management solution designed with the accounting professional in mind.
I look forward to sharing upcoming product developments, services and resources that will enable accountants to further streamline day-to-day operations and free up more time for them to spend with their customers so they become indispensable.