Technology is now an essential element of a modern accounting practice. But knowing how to choose the right accounting software and add-ons can still be a challenge.
By focusing your practice on monthly recurring revenue, you can partner with your clients to help them refocus their energy on the growth of their business, while you take care of the financial management. If you missed the first three steps, you can catch up here.
The Right Tools For The Job
You've set your target, you've mapped out the way you'll hit it, and you've productized your services. Now you'll need to choose the tools you'll use to carry out those services.
The technology you'll use will be doing all the heavy lifting, allowing one bookkeeper to do the work of three. It will save hours of data entry, paper shuffling, and client visits. It will also allow you to replicate your bundled services again and again for all your clients. Your tech stack will level the playing field, enabling small firms to compete with the big guys.
It will make your life and the lives of your staff easier by simplifying and streamlining the work, resulting in profitability, scalability, and growth. By saving hours of work, you'll find the profit margin on a $300/month client goes through the roof.
How To Choose The Right Accounting Software Add-Ons
It might be helpful to think of your tech stack in terms of a toolbelt. You carry the most frequently used tools on your belt. There may be times when you need to reach into your toolbox to tackle a special job, but for most of your tasks, the basic tools -- a hammer, a tape measure, a screwdriver, a level -- will be all you need to get the job done.
Your apps are the same as those popular tools. Think about the processes that are happening in your clients' businesses. All of them have expenses, cash flow, credits, debits. Bills need to be paid. Most have time tracking and payroll needs, and the need for reporting. Your tech stack will be the tools you'll use to cover these services.
By choosing an app to deal with each of these needs, you'll be able to apply this same stack to each of your clients. Think of it as handing each of your clients the same tool belt.
It's important not to make the mistake of thinking you need to support four general ledger apps, three time-tracking apps, and five bill-paying apps. Firms that try this will find themselves flailing.
The key is getting your tech stack down to one app per function. By narrowing your choice, you'll be more streamlined, consistent, and focused, resulting in better service to your clients. If clients don't fall into your tech stack because they want to use another technology, it's time for some tough love. Understand they may not be your ideal client. On the upside, you may end up further defining your niche, allowing you to zero in on your target market.
Here's what you'll need for your tech stack:
First, you'll need a cloud-based general ledger, like Xero or QuickBooks Online.
You'll plug all of the other applications into this GL so that your client's data will flow in nearly real time. Receipt Bank will handle all of the bills, reimbursable expenses, and corporate credit card expenses.
TSheets is our recommendation for the time-tracking app. If you're offering bill pay to your clients, you'll want to use bill.com. For payroll processing, we recommend Gusto. And if you need a reporting tool, we love Fathom.
Mobile apps, like Receipt Bank and TSheets, are designed to be so simple to use. If your client can snap a photo on their phone or send a text, they can use these apps. They make it easy to get the client's info you need.
They'll also get it to you in real time so that you can work on it in real time. Nothing makes monthly recurring revenue difficult like getting your clients' receipts, bills, and paperwork at the end of the month.
By getting it as it flows in, you're able to process it as it comes, giving your client the info they need to run their business in near real time.
These apps turn hundreds or thousands of keystrokes into a couple of mass clicks, allowing your firm to grow, scale, and profit all by harnessing the power of technology and putting it into your clients' hands.