When firms decide to combine or merge, technology is one of the vital considerations. The acquired firm needs to be able to embrace the technology that is in place; it is no longer an option. This includes training and buying new equipment for staff to provide continuing consistency throughout the larger firm.
Technology has to be an integrated and expected part of any accounting firm’s operations. As Ken Kirkland believes: “Do something. If not moving forward you die.” Technology provides for methods of doing business that can provide substantial benefits for the attraction and retention of staff:
• Raises the bar for work completion.
• Enables the allocation and reallocation for scheduling work most effectively.
• Provides opportunity for staff to obtain more experience sooner.
• Improves the learning cycle for those doing the work and those managing the work.
• Creates an effective way to manage a paper explosion.
• Allows more work to be done by fewer people.
Talented staff of every age category will not do tasks that abuse their time and ability. To grow an accounting firm requires talented people. The often asked question of, “Why use technology?” gets answered when the results of talent research are analyzed. More significantly, clients want to be handled by the best talent available.
The decision process for adapting technology within the firm requires fact-finding, analysis, evaluation, decision and implementation. It is vital to understand that the timetable between fact-finding and implementation cannot consume the careers of the staff. “Make a choice and move forward” needs to be the method to adopt because the time to find and integrate new staff is not a long interval. Candidates will not wait for eventual use of technology. Existing staff will not hang around for better technology because they will know what other firms are doing.
The use of technology is directly linked with every Life in Balance issue addressed by staff. Technology has to mean something to these people. Doing things better and more effectively has to be okay. Technology is no longer A solution; it is THE solution.
Ken Kirkland opines, “All [tax and accounting] firms should thank God that technology progression has been fast enough to save the [tax and accounting] industry.”