At some point in life, everyone experiences the disappointment that comes when they realize their expectations didn't align with reality. Especially these days, it's difficult to make your hopes and the real world line up.
And when you consider this in the context of a CPA firm looking to reopen post-COVID, it's easy to feel a little anxious. None of us knows anything about how the world will look in a month or a year—how can you be sure your firm will see success?
One of the best ways to approach the process is to consider what tools could help you serve your clients and strengthen your business. This article will offer an overview of some of the most realistic ways to benefit your firm and the people you serve. If you keep your expectations healthy, you could meet your goals of reopening sooner than you think.
Reality: Automation Is a Big Help
When it comes to accounting, automation is already a great tool that can help minimize errors and streamline workplace processes. Automation will only become more important as firms reopen after COVID-19.
There are myriad benefits to using automation in a CPA firm. Here are just a few.
You save time.
When people don't need to worry about manual work, they can turn their attention to helping clients and ensuring reopening goes smoothly; one of the biggest time-savers is during the financial closing process—lots of data needs to be checked and copied, but automation can help make that a breeze.
Data is accurate (and data retrieval is quick).
Inaccurate data is the bane of any CPA's existence, but automation helps ensure data is accurate and makes it easy to retrieve data on a dime.
Privacy has become more important now than ever before; if you want to help your clients feel safe during opening post-COVID, you can leverage automation to access super secure file storage.
Professional development becomes a focal point.
You learn a lot when a machine handles your busy work for you! Instead of focusing on making sure little decimal points line up, you can continue to develop yourself professionally and help your clients with the unique troubles they face post-COVID.
Strategic Questions to Ask Before Reopening Your CPA Firm After COVID
The best way to approach a new beginning in a new landscape is with a lot of questions. Here are some ideas to kickstart your firm's conversations around reopening after COVID.
Questions About Your Firm's Finances:
What is your firm's financial standing in the midst of or after the pandemic? Consider revenue, payroll, etc.
What can you do to maximize profits?
How do you project your revenue will change in the coming months?
Did you take on debt during the pandemic? How will you repay it?
Do you have access to enough capital to keep operations going?
How About Staffing?
Do you need to rehire furloughed workers? What are your plans?
How do you help your staff alleviate concerns about layoffs, reductions, etc.?
Ask Questions About Your Clients:
What have your clients' experiences during the pandemic looked like? How have they weathered it?
Could a client survey help you understand your clients' current standing?
Should you offer special services to help clients get back to financial health?
What if clients can't pay under normal terms?
Assess Your Technology:
How did your technology work pre-COVID? How has it worked in the time since? Do you need to make upgrades or improvements to facilitate work?
How can you help your staff leverage new technology in the best ways possible?
Have you considered approaches for receiving client payments digitally?
Reality: Look Into SaaS
If you aren't already familiar with SaaS, here's a primer:
SaaS stands for software as a service—it's when services and software can be accessed through the cloud. Usually, users need to download software onto their desktops and run updates, etc.
With SaaS, users log into applications through their internet browsers.
SaaS is rapidly gaining in popularity; we could spend eons talking about how it's being used in all sorts of industries, but you really only need to know why it's so beneficial in the accounting sphere.
The benefits of using SaaS are plentiful. The two most notable are:
It helps firms reduce expenses; you don't need to spend money on upfront software or hardware purchases.
You don't need to waste scarce resources to sort out installation, maintenance, and support.
SaaS helps with the cost of entry, security, data safety, business continuity, and more...
SaaS environments help offices and teams maintain business health. Here's how:
They enable business continuity. Imagine something happens (a natural disaster, for example) and your entire office is gone. If you rely on SaaS, all of your data and software still resides safely on the cloud.
Data backups are automatic. We don't think we need to sell anybody on the benefits of this—data is always safer when it's backed up.
Improved security. Security is often an accounting firm's top concern (or it's amongst them); SaaS allows CPA firms to host client data in secure environments.
A Cloud-Based CPA Firm Is Possible as Soon as Q3 and Q4
At Botkeeper, we offer our customers automated bookkeeping services that make it easy to serve clients swiftly and effectively. Interested in learning more about Botkeeper? Check out more information about: