After 2 incredible days packed with more sessions than we could attend, the one thing that kept resonating was the increasingly important role—connected—technology is playing in the way accountants work and advise their clients.
From the way accountants can maximize the emerging financial web, to what you should be looking for in technology and why you should embrace change, here are our 5 #xerocon takeaways for accountants.
#1 The accountant as a key player in the emerging financial web
Rod Drury opened Day 1 with the emerging financial web. Highlighting the biggest issues small businesses face with their connections being too slow, too risky, too small and too costly, Rod explained the role that Xero and accountants can play in ensuring they have the right tools, advise and capital to grow and fuel the small business economy. The impact of the partnerships Xero is working on is critical for accountants, since you now play a central role in being the trusted advisor that makes the financial web possible by connecting your clients with financial institutions.
#2 Technology should do the heavy lifting in your firm
James Solomons, during The Connected Advisor session in the accountants stream, shared his journey and explained that, when assessing technology for your firm, you need to understand your current workflows to be able to assess the pain points. In other words, where are your inefficiencies and your opportunities to grow, and where can technology help you do the "heavy lifting" to free up time to spend on advisory services.
#3 Your practice's value proposition should be clear everywhere, from your website to every social media channel
During the afternoon, we also attended the Pitch Perfection panel, where a panel of experts assessed a revamped accountant website. The key takeaway for us was that websites are the face of accounting firms in this connected day and age, and therefore you need to make sure that your key point of differentiation is clear not only from what you say, but also from the look and feel.
Also, Wayne shared what he considers the 3 key tips for accountants starting their social media journey (in other words, lead gen!).
#4 You should be a change catalyst for your clients
On day 2 Andy Lark showed that accountants could be the change catalysts their clients need. You can help them navigate change in the way they work, in the technologies they use, in the way they interact with you and their customers. Not only can you make an impact, but considering the trust that small businesses place in accountants, you should.
#5 You and your team must focus in delivering value
Finally, in the last accountant panel, the focus was on discussing the impact technology is having on accounting firms. Accountants are looking at automating non-value tasks to increase productivity, and it was very interesting to see the panel share some of the software they use (although none of their choices was particularly tailored to them.) In the end, the biggest takeaway was that technology is there not only to automate monotonous and non-value tasks, but also to let you focus on what truly matters.