Many of the wonderful advances in online technologies have been in use in the travel industry for many years for researching information about destinations, fares and expenses, transport alternatives and accommodation, just to name a few.
You maybe using online tools and cloud technology more often in the daily operation of your business and your client relationships – but is your accountant offering you the best tools and information available in your financial relationship?
Your clients will be seeking advice from you on many different topics when planning or booking travel, but you also offer information and advice from the myriad things you learn from your clients and professional development opportunities.
For example, we’re increasingly seeing ‘borderless’ international mobile phone roaming offered at lower cost to travellers but ‘bill shock’ is still a substantial problem for many travellers. Be the agent who potentially saves them a lot of money, solves a problem, or adds to a quality experience, and you’ve likely got a customer for life. And more than a few referrals.
As a client, do you get that sort of service from your accountant? Your accountant’s services are probably also increasingly offered on a mobile platform, hosted in the cloud and offering social integration and powerful analytics. If you don’t think you know what questions to ask, at least know enough to understand that this information about new accounting tools and options should be being offered – and explained – to you.
The more efficient your systems are, the more nimble and responsive your business can be, the more time you have to actually work on your business rather than the bookwork. The more mobile the systems are, the less you or your staff need to be chained to one location.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions, no matter how silly they may seem. Every step invested in a healthy and trusting business relationship produces benefits both ways. You become the beneficiary of hard-won knowledge and expertise, your accountant gains your trust and ongoing business.
Your company may be large enough to have an IT specialist or even an entire IT department! But perhaps the person in charge of IT is just you with a whole bunch of questions about technologies you don’t really understand.
Is your accountant discussing with you not just the numbers but the security of your numbers and information when stored in the cloud? Do you understand what sort of disaster recovery or backup plan your accountant should have for your vital information? Do you know who actually has control or access to your information?
Is your accountant using the latest tools for data and analytics that can help them benchmark your business against others and help you enhance your own client relationships and improve competitive advantages?
If your accountant seems to be operating well in the new digital environment – are they offering you the benefits that come with powerful new technologies? Ask why they might prefer one service or platform over another. And ask them to explain in simple terms!
It’s important to remember, however, that simply offering new tech services achieves nothing if those services aren’t relevant or fail to drive opportunities and results for your clients. One thing is for sure – all of these changes are themselves bringing change, and fast. Being adaptable is crucial.
Your clients are now very familiar with using these online and cloud technologies every day in both very complex and very mundane ways. Booking accommodation? Easy. Organising airport transfers? Done. And yet it is still true that often the most valuable piece of information you have to offer them is from personal experience.
It really is the best of both worlds – the best of personal service offered efficiently, seamlessly and securely.
Ask us how we’re using new accounting technologies and how these might best be employed within your business.
Jason Bartlett is a Business Services Expert at DFK Crosbie in Newcastle. He provides timely and reliable information with a hands on approach to enable business owners to make appropriate strategic based decisions.
DFK ANZ Accountants are experts at helping identify and implement strategies to get your business running smoothly and achieving your goals. Please call 1300 DFK ANZ to book your complimentary Strategic Business Review as an AFTA Member. An honest and constructive conversation about your business is waiting for you.