I would probably just hold this data in my brain or on a sticky note until I can get to my software. Having our Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software (as opposed to practice management software) online allows me to quickly purge my brain of what my client just told me to pass along to one of our team members. KTA: the brain of the firm owner is a bad place to store data! The quicker data can leave a brain and make it to a ‘To Do’ on a workflow platform (we use XCM Solutions), the quicker the work can get done for the customer.
What if I am in another city and am producing paper that my team members need to begin work for that client?
The ability to digitize paper is a must because paper is always being generated within processes. I’m not sure businesses will ever stop creating paper, but until they do, we must be able to digitize that paper immediately to keep our cloud-based, mobile-accelerated firms moving forward. KTA: digitize paper as early in your processes as possible (like scanning client documents up front in your tax prep process). The earlier you scan, the earlier you can shred. And the earlier you shred in your process, the less temptation you will have to touch that paper twice. Twice-touched paper is the doom to all business processes for many reasons. Here are two: (1) it demands you be localized near the paper itself and (2) you have to pay human labor to cart it through your firm. Paying administrative people to cart paper through a firm is just plain dumb.
The Real Purpose of Mobile Technologies
Just like anything you do in your firm, your first consideration must always be your customers. This consideration is the biggest planning step of all on your way to the cloud, and then mobile. What if your clients don’t want you to be cloud-based and mobile-based. For me, I would tell you that you have the wrong clients. But maybe you can’t make that move yet. Make sure in everything you do, it is all centered around meeting the needs of the customer. If you fail to consider this, and then go cloud and mobile, you may tick a lot of people off. So don’t do it right now if it’s wrong for your customers.
So, you have to ask yourself, is going mobile really what your customers want? Why not ask them? If you are ready to go mobile, but your clients are not, then you have a decision to make: will you begin the long process of changing your client base, or will you stay behind while all other firms move to become mobile? Only you can look ahead to the future of our profession and try to innovate where your new customers will want you to be. And this bit of knowledge cannot be found in my magic man bag, which is not a purse!