Streamlining your firm to maximize results
Streamlining your firm to maximize results Vertical

Streamlining your firm to maximize results

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Business capability and technology have advanced more in the past two years than the past decade—a trend set in motion even before the COVID-19 pandemic.

For example, rapid growth of cognitive systems (automation, machine learning, and Al) now allows for a greater level of outsourcing than ever. The blockchain allows for unprecedented levels of transparency and access through a cryptographically secure, append-only public ledger. And, largely due to the rapid implementation of Bluetooth and Wi-Fi in more appliances—from refrigerators to fitness trackers—the amount of endpoints is projected to grow from 12.2 billion in 2021 to 27 billion in 2025. Shared data is projected to increase sharply, as is the need for data security and privacy.

Further exacerbated by recent talent shortages, the old accounting mindset—one limited to traditional compliance and transactional thinking—is quickly being rendered obsolete and unsustainable. Former best practices are simply not enough to facilitate growth.

However, firms can maximize results by capitalizing on these trends, adapting in three main ways:

  1. Today’s leadership must be precise about their vision, plan, and timeline, adapting their strategy based on current business and technology trends

For example, due to the rapid growth of information-based technologies—and the sheer increase in consumer data—the Chief Information Officer’s role has become more critical than ever. Rather than only focusing on strategy, today’s CIO must now forecast future shifts, while proactively adjusting the firm’s vision. Not only is it important to have great leadership, it’s also important to have employees who buy into the leadership. From managers to interns, human resources is the bread and butter for any firm. A firm that has great leadership, but does not have the right people on board to implement the vision, plan, timeline and strategy, will suffer.

2. Firms must intentionally build trust with their clients

Streamline employee workflow and customer experience through innovative technologies, optimizing time spent on both sides. These expectations should be clearly communicated and marketed. One of the major hurdles for firms implementing a new technology stack into their practice is the learning curve for the employees. As mentioned above, the integrations between a cloud­-based trial balance software and a cloud-based tax software can have similar endpoints to connect with each other, but there are times where integration has its limitations, especially if those two software are not from the same vendor.

3. Firms must clearly identify both the stakes and stakeholders in project management

What happens if changes are not proactively implemented? Who is accountable for success? Are budgets realistically drafted and carefully followed? How is success defined? What are the desired outcomes and deliverables? Are there procedures easy for staff to follow? Is the client portal easy enough for the clients to communicate? The optimization of training and data migration is crucial to modern project management—proactively terminating old technologies, while facilitating the smooth transition towards new ones. This is not an easy task; most accountants do not like change. But identifying the stakes and stakeholders in project management is important because it brings everyone together for a common goal.

Whenever a firm adds new planning, people, or processes, there is always a learning curve. From the perspective of a new hire, that person will have to quickly learn how to use all software and properly follow all procedures in a short amount of time. They also must learn the procedures that the firm has created, which can be another hurdle. If you start implementing client portals, it’s important to prepare your clients to understand how the portal works as well. But without proper planning, people, and processes, the work simply cannot get done. This is why it’s important to have a clear plan for your organization, have great people carrying out the mission of the firm, and have the right processes in place to streamline success.

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