By combining the concepts of chunkification and zero entry, we will see a dramatic change for the role of the bookkeeper. Although the bookkeeper role won’t completely disappear, the role will change from being the expert on how to enter transactions efficiently to how to manage transactions and other “data flows” from several cloud-based “chunks” of the system.
Think about what it takes to become a “Lego Master.” You know, those artists that excel at building the most ornate and complex Lego masterpieces? They can quickly identify the right Lego pieces from thousands of shapes, sizes, colors and textures, and assemble them using the right connections in order to create the most complex and interesting structures. These skills are a perfect analogy for what we must develop to succeed with clients in the new world of cloud-based, chunkified accounting software.
We will still use all the knowledge and experience we acquired as accountants and bookkeepers, but now we’ll apply that knowledge, combined with expertise in various software chunks to connect and integrate data for each client to create a customized, efficient accounting system — very much like fitting together different Lego parts into a complete Lego masterpiece.
Collaborative Accounting Services
We also must focus on how to collaborate with and serve clients in ways that were simply impossible just a few years ago.
In this new world, cloud computing provides the perfect platform for both accountants and clients to work collaboratively on the same data at the same time from anywhere in the world. By centralizing the client’s data in the cloud, surrounded by robust security measures (both physical and network security), we can provide clients with the same features and capabilities they used to get from their premise-based systems, but in addition, we can work collaboratively with clients and manage their business information.
The Payoff for You and Your Clients
Although the process of getting from today’s world to this new, cloud-based, collaborative world may be disruptive to your practice and to your existing clients, in the end the payoffs will be huge.
The key payoff is that by focusing less on teaching clients to enter data, and more on helping them implement zero data-entry systems, everyone becomes more efficient. Your clients can focus more on growing and managing their businesses, and you can move up the value chain and provide high-value business consulting services like business analytics, real-time dashboards and management consulting.
If you’re like me, you can’t wait for this new world to become our real world. It’s coming, and we’ll all get there sooner or later. But remember, the early bird gets the worm.