Now is the Time to Build Your Firm of the Future

Practice Management Portrait of happy businessman raising his hands with cloudy sky above him

Now that you have crossed the finish line of another tax season, it’s time to shift gears from long hours working in your business to strategically work on your business. It’s the time of the year to evaluate what you do and how you do it, and to realign your compass with your true north goals.

At Intuit®, we spend a lot of time with customers. What we find is:

  • You are an expert at your craft and a trusted advisor for your small business clients.
  • You want help managing tasks, clients and engagements more efficiently.
  • You want specific, bite-sized recommendations to build the firm you desire to make you a hero with your clients.

We have been organizing resources and education for the past year, with input from industry experts and customers like you. Our goal is to provide a roadmap for tax and accounting professionals who want to be a Firm of the Future. This roadmap provides the strategic options available, as well as specific action plans, to help you prioritize your journey.

Andrew Berg, of Berg Partners, LLC, is one CPA who has been on a journey to transition his firm from using traditional tax and accounting processes to becoming a Firm of the Future.

“In the beginning, it was all about long hours, volume, and paper, paper, paper,” says Andrew. Now, after taking a more strategic review of the activities within their firm, he says, “We are constantly looking at the newest and best technologies out there to help our clients be efficient and spend their time doing what they do best.”

A big part of Andrew’s journey has been leveraging cloud technologies to increase client collaboration and access data across different types of firm devices. “Any information a client asks me for, I can get, from any location. We want to be the ones who provide clients advice using that information, not the person still trying to get that information into the system.”

Andrew has advice for firms who aren’t sure how to proceed: “It’s an amazing time to be a Firm of the Future. If you don’t look at this as an option for your firm, you could miss out on an opportunity to be ahead of your competition.”

If you feel like the technology trends of mobile devices, social media and cloud technologies are passing you by, take a deep breath. Intuit is ready to help. The cloud does not mean changing everything; instead, you can change a few things to optimize your processes, increase your collaboration with clients and get excited about the future of your firm. We’ve learned from QuickBooks® pros across the world. Here are four facts to consider about growing your practice1:

  1. More new QuickBooks businesses choose cloud-based QuickBooks Online over desktop, which is up from prior years.
  2. 61 percent of accountants’ clients are demanding cloud-based accounting.
  3. Intuit research found the average new small business uses 18 different apps to run its business.
  4. 88 percent of small business owners surveyed told Intuit that the cloud would enable them to work more closely with their accountant.

Small businesses are rapidly adopting cloud technology to run their companies, and they want tax advisors who are ready to collaborate in the same way.

Nancy Navarro-Walker, EA, of Navarro-Mellinger, LLC, has been using cloud applications to run her tax and accounting practice for the past three years.

“Moving from QuickBooks Desktop to Online takes a few months to get confident, but now we always recommend online if we have a choice,” she says. “I still prefer some desktop features, but the reliability and flexibility of QuickBooks Online makes the logistics of accessing the client file faster and easier. With internet access, there are no obstacles to slow us down.”

Navarro also finds that the platform choice of QuickBooks Online makes them more efficient and a hero with their clients. “My partner uses a Mac while I use a PC, and our clients have their own preferences. QuickBooks Online works on both, so everyone can access the books from their preferred device.”

How to Become a Firm of the Future

To help you thrive and grow, Intuit launched the Firm of the Future site with resources, education, testimonials and action plans. From the site, you can enroll your firm books on QuickBooks Online Accountant, which is a great way to experience the power and flexibility of cloud accounting. There is no fee for tax and accounting professionals to subscribe to QuickBooks Online Accountant, when you advise clients who subscribe to QuickBooks Online.

If you prefer learning in a face-to-face environment, take advantage of a Firm of the Future training event in a city near you this summer. Firm of the Future events will be followed by QuickBooks ProAdvisor® Certification for professionals who want deeper training around Intuit solutions, such as QuickBooks Online. It is two days packed with information to help you take your tax practice to the next level.

Now is the perfect time to embrace your Firm of the Future.

1 The Changing Role of Accountancy; Intuit Research 2013.