The accounting industry is no longer the same as it was a few years ago. Firms of the Future have embraced this change by taking advantage of new opportunities and adapting their practices to meet clients’ needs. Intuit® is proud to recognize a number of Canadian firms who have risen to the challenge.
Canadian virtual accounting firm Wall CPA was recently announced as a runner-up for Canada’s Firm of the Future award. I had the privilege of chatting with Wall CPA’s owner, Andrew Wall, about what he believes makes his firm a Firm of the Future.
Cloud Accounting and Technology
Wall is a big proponent of technology and is always looking for new ways to make his job and his clients’ lives easier. Cloud accounting is one example, which has become a vital aspect of a bookkeeper’s or accountant’s role. “A few years back, we were saying that Cloud accounting is coming and, last year, we said the Cloud is here,” said Wall. “Now, the Cloud is a fundamental underlying what we’re doing.”
Now that his firm has embraced Cloud accounting, the next step is to look into integrating Cloud accounting with third-party apps to automate workflow. “With these apps, we can get better synergies for ourselves and a better experience for our customers,” said Wall. “The end goal is to try and make the experience as smooth and easy as possible because it’s safe to say that most people hate doing their taxes.”
“The hard part for accountants is that we’re so focused on the bottom line that a lot of people give up on social media, or don’t spend the amount of time and energy that they should,” said Wall. While it can be tough to find a direct correlation between the energy spent on social media and sales, he believes it makes a big difference in marketing.
On social media, Wall does little self-promotion, and his most popular posts are on topics that are interesting to his community, such as entrepreneurship. To grow your social media, it is a matter of trial and error, he adds.
At a recent conference, Wall was named a social media influencer, which allowed him to attain extra discounts to share with clients. “For me, that’s proof there is ROI for social media, not only for the potential of direct sales, but the publicity you’re going to get at other events, VIP treatment and exposure you’ll receive by being a leader in social media,” says Wall. “It’s easy to be at the top of the industry because so few people are neglecting it or don’t understand it.”
This pricing model allows businesses to be more customer-focused through the delivery of different client experiences, says Wall. “If you look across other businesses, they have just as many unknowns as we have,” says Wall. “There’s unknowns in every business, and you can have a fixed price based on information you do know.”
Wall recommends attending Intuit’s upcoming Thrive conference to hear more valuable insight on how to become a Firm of the Future. He will be doing some sessions at the conference, so be sure to register to learn from him in person.
By attending, you’ll gain:
- Education: By attending breakout events or individual sessions, you’ll be exposed to a number of topics that are completely new to you and your business, said Wall.
- Connections: Whether it’s meeting other accountants or bookkeepers who could serve as future business referrals, or app developers who can give the inside scoop on the latest updates, Thrive offers attendees a chance to mix, mingle and build relationships. “It’s hard to research every one of the apps out there, but having them all in one room gives you a chance to get a high-level overview of what they do very quickly and very easily by walking the showroom floor,” said Wall.
- Fun: All work and no play makes being a tax preparer less enjoyable. Thrive offers a chance to have fun and socialize with others, says Wall.
After reading this post, what things do you want to better implement at your firm to be a Firm of the Future?