We all know the stereotype of the accountant—calculator and pen in hand, poring over reams of paper filled with endless rows of figures. It’s an old-school image from the pre-2000s, and largely irrelevant today (thanks, Excel!).
But sometimes, we forget that the industry standard practices of today were once the new technologies of yesterday. And the types of technology disrupting the industry today— particularly in automation—will be the norm of tomorrow.
For those who have been slow to come around to this latest industry disruption, it’s important to remember that it’s an opportunity—not a threat. Here are four reasons why CPAs and bookkeepers need to embrace technology.
#1: Your Clients Expect It (and the Customer is Always Right)
Who are your clients? They are, or soon will be, millennials (we know you’re tired of reading articles about millennials so we’ll limit this one to a single point).
According to the Pew Research Center, millennials are already the largest generation in the American workforce, at 35%. By 2020, that figure is projected to rise to 50%, and by 2025 it’ll hit 75%—a clear supermajority. These are your clients.
And the mantra of the millennial generation is technology-empowered convenience. Their expectations, coupled with their tech-savvy, have permeated almost every industry (just look at the success of Uber and Airbnb) and the accounting industry is no exception.
Consider something as basic as paying invoices. The rise of flexible and remote working arrangements means your clients expect to be able to easily settle their invoices on-the-go. That’s why a feature like Biller Genie’s Branded Customer Portal, which allows clients to pay invoices from their smartphones and schedule automatic recurring payments (among many other things), is so valuable.
#2: You Can Serve More Clients (Without Sacrificing Quality)
As a CPA or bookkeeper, you have a delicate balance to strike. While you want to serve as many clients as possible, the last thing you want to do is sacrifice quality (or sanity). Thanks to technology and automation, you can grow your clientele base without sacrificing the level of quality or service.
Even better? You can boost your efficiency and productivity in the process. When you think about how much time you spend on tedious administrative work—don’t you wish modern technology could somehow make it disappear?
Well, there’s good news and bad news. The bad news? Administrative tasks, like sending out invoices and payment reminders, are an essential part of running a business—and there’s no way you can avoid them.
The good news? Technology can now handle most of it for you.
Biller Genie’s Automated Invoice Messenger and Late Fee Manager are perfect examples. These two features can automatically send invoices, invoice updates, late payment reminders, and thank-you notes. All you have to do is set your schedule preferences and let Biller Genie do the rest. This means you can spend more time growing your client base and nurturing client relationships—without sacrificing the quality of your services.
#3: You Can Focus on High Value Work (The Future of the Industry)
Automating admin tasks like sending invoices and payment reminders will help you grow your CPA or bookkeeping practice. But it will also allow you to focus on the future of your industry.
The role of CPAs and bookkeepers are, after all, evolving. As Agnes Ann Pepe, CPA, wrote in CPA Practice Advisor:
“Technology advancements have enhanced accountants’ ability to interpret data efficiently and effectively. They now have the ability to interpret the language of business with such ease that the accountant has become a corporation’s most trusted business advisor.”
As big data plays a progressively larger role in the modern economy, the role of CPAs and bookkeepers is shifting toward business advisory. These require high-level thinking skills—the exact opposite of boring admin work.
The more time you have to work on these skills, the better you will become. And the better you are at them, the better positioned you’ll be for where the industry is heading (not to mention the long-term success of your career).
#4: It’s Already Happening (Keep Up or Get Left Behind)
Embracing technology is no longer a ‘nice to have’—it’s a must have. The changes happening in the industry are already underway, and early adopters will be the ones to reap the benefits. As the Harvard Business Review found in a recent study, businesses that are ‘digital leaders’ significantly outperformed the ‘digital laggards.’
If you think your competition doesn’t realize this, think again. Thousands of others in your industry are looking for ways to use technology to enhance their business practices. In fact, one survey of over 3,000 accountants worldwide found that 86% of respondents were ready to start using technology to make admin work invisible. It’s only a matter of time before they do.
The takeaway is clear. Those on the right side of the ‘digital divide’ will be the winners, and those who stubbornly refuse to adapt—well, you get the picture.
In today’s fast-paced world, you either keep up, or get left behind.
Put Automation to Your Advantage with Biller Genie
Automation sometimes gets a bad rep. But while we can sit around all day and debate the merit of its impact, the trend is obvious—automation is coming.
So, why not put automation to your advantage with Biller Genie? The latest recipient of the 2019 CPA Practice Advisor Technology Innovation Award, see why Biller Genie is being called the best new product in the accounting and finance community.
Discover why so many accountants, bookkeepers, and CPAs can’t stop talking about Biller Genie.
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