This post is part of The 1, 2, 3 Practice Management Series from Added Value Corporation Pty Ltd
Fence sitting is no longer possible
Some firms have already made the decision and are forcing all clients onto one selected Cloud Accounting package. Other firms feel it is wrong to favour only one package. Yet others are “fence sitting”, so reacting to whatever their clients choose to do. The client’s choice is sometimes influenced by their bookkeeper and the Cloud Accounting Package preferred by the bookkeeper.
One client went off and sourced their own Cloud Accounting Package. They have now found their particular CRM, used for client notes, cannot be integrated into the Cloud Accounting Package they selected and have started to use.
Questions to consider
In order to help with your decision, there are a number of questions you may consider.
- What are the particular needs of a client?
- Large numbers of sub-contractors, or
- Many sales of small dollar items, or
- Trades people requiring a method to provide on the job quotes for possible customers, or
- International sales off a website?
- Where is the client data stored?
- If a client wishes to change from one Cloud Accounting Package to another, can the GL be downloaded?
- Will the payroll component produce the necessary ATO reports?
Some practitioners defer making a decision on Cloud Accounting Packages because they do not know where to go to obtain answers to their questions. Here are some suggestions:
- Ask Bookkeepers which of the Cloud Accounting Packages they prefer.
- Ask the various practitioners at your Discussion Group meetings.
- Go to a Public Practice Conference, ask as many of the participants as possible.
- Read some of the blogs, especially specific comments from people who have used various Packages.
Some progressive firms have adopted a policy of selecting three of the available Cloud Accounting Packages. One firm appointed a firm Product Champion, for each of the Cloud Accounting Packages. Another smart firm, having selected their three preferred options, now use one of each of the three, for different firm entities. So they work on all of the three, even though it may seem more logical for the firm to embrace just one of the packages for their own business.
Given the amount of marketing and advertising being pushed out by some of the Cloud Accounting Package providers, it is essential firms embrace the idea and be in a position to advise clients. It is no longer possible to defer this decision. It is a critical decision for this year, in order firms can be proactive with their clients, thereby creating a better solution, which will continue to operate for many years.
© Thea Foster, Added Value Corporation Pty Ltd, www.addedvalue.com.au
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