The global coronavirus pandemic has caused major disruption to companies from virtually every industry, putting businesses under even more pressure than before to get their finances in good order. This has subsequently created a wide range of opportunities for Certified Public Accountants, but only for those that know how to navigate the unprecedented challenges posed by the continued impacts of Covid-19. Modern technology is undoubtedly at the heart of the latest evolution.
So, how are CPAs utilizing modern tech to overcome the lasting damage of Covid-19? Let’s take a look at the changing face of accounting.
Implementing Survival Mode On Behalf Of Clients
Many SMEs turn to accountants for trusted financial advice. Right now, supporting businesses in their bid for immediate survival is the priority for all CPAs. Online research can help accountants stay abreast of the latest developments and work on behalf of their clients to handle a range of issues, such as;
- Investigating all forms of financial aid that may be available and preparing the application.
- Review and amend cash flow forecasts and the disruptions caused by a reduction in sales.
- Analyzing business models to identify any potential streamlining opportunities.
- Handling negotiations with both creditors and debtors to manage cash flow.
- Checking insurance agreements to see whether any losses can be reclaimed for the client
The strategic focus has changed for accountants, which simply reflects the new concerns facing SMEs. Research and communication technologies are more vital than ever in the ongoing bid for transparency.
Utilizing Cloud-Based Accountancy For Optimal Efficiency
Accountants have steadily moved towards cloud-based technologies in recent years, but the Covid-19 pandemic is a watershed moment. All CPAs must now embrace modern technologies for the sake of internal benefits as well as external connections. Cloud-based software and document sharing enhances accounting operations by;
- Allowing colleagues to interact in real-time, even when working remotely.
- Provide clients with immediate access to the files that they require.
- Maintain all versions and edits with clear indications of when they were made.
- Protect the company and the client from potential cyberattacks.
- Keep all files organized, even when handling multiple complex accounts.
Cloud-based tech also supports CPA firms by reducing software agreement costs. The logistical and financial benefits are essential in the post-coronavirus era, and are now the new normal for CPAs.
Embracing Digital Communications
Some accountants may be in a position to reopen their offices to local clients, but will – like any other business – need to limit human interactions and support social distancing. This may include using staggered appointments and keeping reception areas closed. In lieu of face-to-face interactions, accountants must use alternative digital communication to keep clients updated. They include;
- Using emails and team messaging apps to provide updates.
- Implementing an automated system that will notify clients of new developments.
- Setting up video meetings with apps such as Microsoft Teams to replace in-office connections.
- Utilizing social media and website platforms to provide general practice updates.
- Relying on cloud-based practice management tools to document work performed.
Accountants now use digital communications to facilitate smoother interactions with clients and team members alike. Aside from overcoming logistical obstacles caused by Covid-19, it’s time-efficient.
A New Approach To Reaching New Clients
The Covid-19 pandemic has altered the way we interact with businesses. Both B2B and B2C clients are now more likely to conduct online research before committing to any CPA service. The pressure to master local digital marketing strategies is intense, not least because real-world ad campaign opportunities are set to remain limited for some time. A comprehensive plan should include;
- Local Search Engine Optimization protocols.
- A strong social media presence for a targeted audience.
- Google My Business pages and directory listing.
- Client reviews and testimonials.
- Email marketing strategies that work on a sales funnel model.
Accountants are in a good position to offer nationwide services thanks to the operational tech mentioned above. Either way, it’s another challenge where technology has changed the game forever.
The Age Of Collaboration
Collaboration is heavily utilized in many business sectors, but accountants ordinarily have a very small network. This will change in the post-coronavirus era. Adapting to a new client mindset is essential for all CPAs, which is why they must deliver comprehensive strategies that go beyond financial advice and tax preparations. Collaborations may include;
- Teaming up with legal firms to understand the financial implications of Covid-19 on a client.
- Joining forces with CPAs that specialize in a different field, enabling you to provide a full service.
- Connecting with various companies and related services to see if better rates can be achieved.
- Hiring customer care advisors and marketing teams, allowing you to focus on accountancy work.
- Sharing resources with other local companies, not necessarily accountancy firms.
The majority of those collaborations are completed via tech connections due to social distancing and the Covid-19 hangover. And accountants that won’t move with the times run the risk of falling behind.
Ciro Cetrangolo is an IT specialist with over 30+ years in the IT services industry. Ciro has a deep understanding of the software, workflow, and underlying technology of accounting organizations and helps firms like yours achieve the secure, stable, and streamlined IT environments you need to accomplish your work more effectively. See my Amazon Author Profile