Use technology to better meet client needs

Written on Nov 29, 2018

Molly Ryan Kowaleski, OSCPA PR & Engagement Manager

Accountants working in public practice won’t be surprised to hear there is a lot of redundancy and lost time in their manual processes.

One way large firms tackle this issue is a sophisticated enterprise resource planning setup, but for small businesses with limited resources, this is not always possible or realistic.

Damien Greathead, vice president of Global Accountants’ Programs at Receipt Bank, says that’s not a problem because ERP systems are not for everyone anyway.

Damien_Greathead“The full ERP is basically everything in one location, and they do an OK job at each of the different component pieces, but an integrated platform allows the practitioner to choose best-of-breed applications to plug into their workflow,” said Greathead, “so, you’re going to be able to piece it together based on your industry and your clientele; you have much more control.”

Greathead, who earlier this year spoke at the Cincinnati and Dayton Accounting Shows, will be at the Northeast Ohio Fall CPE Conference on Dec. 13 and the Northwest Ohio Fall CPE Conference on Dec. 18 discussing “Integrating Technology Applications.”

“This technology facilitates a flow of information from the client into the firm and back to the client as efficiently as possible,” Greathead said. “About 50% of the preparation time for document management, document collection, data entry and client engagement, can be taken care of with technology.”

The information is processed and shared with the firm in real-time, Greathead said, and the information then comes into the firm already organized, prepared and ready for review. Plus, staff would not need extensive training before they could begin using this system.

Attendees of the Northeast and Northwest CPE Conferences can expect to hear much more about setting up a workflow, why they should be adapting to these new tools and the implications for a firm’s revenue and profitability.

“There is plenty of time to implement new technology; it’s possible to make these changes now for a more successful tax season next year,” he said. “Don’t put off something until after April 15, because now is a perfect time to talk to clients about improving their processes and ways in which you can help them and minimize tax liabilities.”

To register for the Northwest or Northeast Fall CPE Conferences or to learn more, visit ohiocpa.com.

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