It’s an exciting time for accountants. Cloud adoption is rapidly evolving the industry and paving the way for changes in what your clients are looking for, the services you provide them, and how you work.
And changes will continue to happen—so at the recent Firm of the Future roadshow, we spoke to Bruce Phillips from HPC Accounting & Tax to find out what three things your practice should be aware of, addressing, and getting ahead of now.
HPC has grown dramatically over the years because Bruce has been ahead of a lot of the different technology changes, and has a knack for foreseeing, and taking advantage of, industry developments.
According to Bruce, these are the three big trends that will drive accounting over the coming years.https://youtu.be/vXCzGGtDVVY
People don’t want to pay for what they don’t value. If you’re doing things that people don’t put much worth to then eventually this will be done somewhere else, or basically become extinct or replaced by technology.
Bruce says you need to get ahead of the curve and change the conversation with clients—speak about what they do value. It’s not easy to do, but this is your only way to avoid being replaced.
“Everything we do as accountants must be about value from a client's perspective.”
The world is so small now—technology allows you to work from anywhere, with anybody. Try not to think that the world contains borders. HPC has clients spanning six continents around the world.
According to Bruce, global small businesses with a US presence became a niche for them by accident—they were referred an Australian business from another client four years ago. They were coming to the US and needed someone to take care of them.
“We did good work for them and were soon referred other clients from Australia, then New Zealand, then the United Kingdom. That created a light bulb moment for us and made us realize something is going on here. We modified our business model, and although we’re still verticalized, we do things for these companies that they really value and can't do themselves from where they are. And these clients really love us for it.”
For Bruce and HPC, staff can be anywhere and clients can be anywhere—so their team is anywhere. They transferred from a brick and mortar office in Atlanta, Georgia, and now have employees in 16 states who get to live and work where they want.
“I love to travel and I have clients all around the world. So I'm able to do what I love and serve my clients, and travel the world while I do it.”
Since offering flexible working options for staff, HPC has had at four different team members move states with their families for schools, quality of life or less expensive living, while still remaining with the HPC team.
Commoditization, globalization, and mobility are the three trends Bruce says are already starting to have an impact, but are going to be driving accounting even further in the future. If your practice can get on the front foot and embrace these areas, you’ll give yourself a huge advantage going forward.