By Saloni Arora
Dec 10, 2018
Posted in Accounting
The changing technology can give scares to people from every realm. Be it business owners or their talented tax preparers and accountants, changes in technology take time to gel into their daily routines. In most cases, entrepreneurs are quite content with the work their hired professionals do for them. But what if their accountant refuses to move forward?
Reactive To Proactive Technology Management
When surveyed, a vast majority of entrepreneurs claimed that they expect their accountants to be tech-savvy and guide them with their business-related decisions too. Preparing the taxes alone does not define what tax preparers and accountants are expected to do by their clients. Simply adopting tax software hosting and QuickBooks hosting solutions is not enough for an accounting firm. They also need to manage technology for greater productivity. So, the question arises- should accountants be reactive or proactive? As the age old proverb goes- prevention is better than cure, business owners also need a partner, who is proactive and who can help them in making well-informed decisions.
What Does It Mean To Be Proactive and Reactive?
It is easy to comprehend the difference between the two. Being proactive, in simple terms, means to plan. Of course, planning everything is impossible. Certain situations can just creep up, out of the blue. But being prepared for challenges unknown is possible. And, there is a multitude of benefits attached to being proactive.
Reactive, on the other hand, means to take action after the problem poses itself. For example, you know your computer is not working smooth but unless it breaks down completely, you would not call your IT guy. This is a classic example of being a reactive accountant.
Are You Proactive or Reactive?
That’s the question you must ask from your accounting firm before developing a relationship with them. Every day in a business is different and the challenges they face can be quite unique. Although every challenge cannot be foretold, accounting firms can still be prepared for predictable issues. Maintenance of computers can be done beforehand, wear and tear of infrastructure can be taken care of before an issue arises, and possible precautions can be taken to avoid unhappy surprises later.
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What Happens When Accounting Firms Adapt Reactive Technology?
Scores of accounting firms decide to grow organically, without any external help. While others may go for technology management. This puts the independent firms at a weaker pedestal in the competitive market. There are several backdrops of being reactive when it comes to technology.
While some firms may completely disregard an IT management plan, some may be waiting for others to adapt and react. But, what these firms fail to sense is the losses they will incur by not being proactive.
Here are some of the costs accounting firms have to pay because of reactive technology management:
What do you do when a technological glitch surfaces on the floor? You call an IT management firm. But, the guy you always rely on may not be available every single time. So you search for another one. If this is what happens every single time, you may be paying them a fee for every visit. So you are not only wasting time but money as well. This means an unnecessary burden on your company’s expenses.
As an alternative, you can be proactive by hiring an IT management firm. They will take care of your hardware and software, and manage the regular wear and tear to control expenses.
Your pay-per-problem strategy is not going to take you far. Data breaches are common, hackers are everywhere, and your firm may also be at a risk. Handling your technical issues on your own may put you at a higher possibility of a data breach.
The cost of losing your critical data can be high. It may also lead to your clients losing trust in your firm and may also lead to their frustration. Thus, it is best to hire a professional who can take care of your technical issues for you.
Seeking IT management help from outside your firm will not only improve your people’s productivity and improve security but will also guide you through changing technology. Technological changes are a constant and only an IT management firm can update you with what’s best for your business.
Managing the technical issues by yourself may not always work in your favor. If your servers are down for a longer period, it will mean less or no productivity for the day and wastage of time. As an accounting firm with a lot of clients depending upon you, this is a huge red flag. An IT firm can and will manage your technical glitches with ease and in less time.
We often come across accounting firms that depend on their CPAs and non-CPAs for technical needs. There is a simple reason why this is wrong: this is not why you hired them. Every employee is hired for the job they are good at. Handling technical issues is not their genre and it only adds to the pressure. The best thing to do is to let them do their job and hire a technology expert instead.
If you are planning to revamp your accounting firm, technology-wise, the right time is now. As the new financial year is close, it will be a lucrative decision for you to take the next step by switching to QuickBooks hosting and other innovative technology solutions for the betterment of your business. It takes years for a firm to build itself a trustworthy image. Lack of proactive technology management is not a viable reason to give up the reputation or lose your clients. Consider these costs of being a reactive firm and plan your firm’s investments accordingly.
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