CPA Practice Advisor's Editor-inChief spoke with Mike McDerment, the CEO and Co-Founder of FreshBooks, about how the company views the evolution of the small business accounting space.
CPA PA: What sort of evolution in small business accounting occurred that enabled FreshBooks to be a possibility?
Reimagining what accounting means from the point of view of the small business owner is number one, and then a bunch of technologies that have enabled accounting to be simple and easy for small business owner. There are all kinds of different businesses out there – restaurants, retain, client services – and no one platform will be the be all and end all for each business.
CPA PA: Beyond cloud and mobile, what changes do you see coming in the future that will affect the way accountants provide services to their clients?
I think the software is going to get so easy in a lot of cases that the role and nature of relationships with clients is going to improve a great deal. The percent of time accountants spend on data entry is going to go down, while the percent of time spent offering advice and guidance to small business owners is going to go up. What's going to drive that?
There will be a big change in collaboration, technology, ease of use, and availability of anywhere anytime is going to be the root cause for that. Owners are going to be capable of doing more on their own. The relationship between clients and accountants will evolved, to the point where accountants will be able to have more impact, the conversation will be elevated, that's a very big deal. It's not about accountants spending less time with their clients; it's about the role being more impactful.
See inside June 2014
Talking to Your Clients About SALT
The Year in the Life of a State and Local Tax (SALT) Accountant series is being created with the practitioner in mind. In cooperation with Avalara, each month we'll provide you with the latest news relating to state and local tax issues, updates on federal legislation, checklists and tips for building and improving your SALT practice, talking points and guidance for answering the questions posed by your clients, and more.