Now, there is a new breed of accounting firms that leverage technology to make the lives of their clients a bit more simple. There has been a dramatic shift in the relationships between clients and business owners causing a belief that the evolution of the modern day firm extends beyond the improvements in technology.
This new breed of accountants now offer value added services to simplify the lives of business owners; whereas, in the past, accountants served merely as compliance officers to ensure tax filings were processed in a timely manner.
With technology at the forefront of this evolution,
several major changes have taken place:
With the core feature being the fact that they are web-based, cloud platforms allow a “read-only” direct feed access to your bank accounts and credit cards in a securely encrypted environment. As information is available in a more timely manner, and the elimination of a redundant double entry of bookkeeping information, the advantages to this system are undeniable. Furthermore, cloud platforms have improved the collaboration process between clients and their accountants as the accounting records can be accessed from anywhere in the world!
This live accounting platform eliminates multiple versions of files, time delays to get banking information into the system or difficulty sharing financial data with ones accountant.
Document Sharing and Storage
Historically, firms would have no easy way to store client data in a place that is easily accessible by both clients and the firm. This is no longer the case.
One option is to set up a unique client portal for each client. Cloud storage platforms such as Dropbox, Google Docs, and even Doc-link by Altec all provide a great way to share and edit content in a secure environment and provide a great way to share content internally within the firm and externally with clients or third parties. Most importantly, these services provide the ability for collaboration to happen in real-time. As long as there is a computer or tablet and an internet connection, sharing information has never been more seamless.
Utilizing an online service in order to facilitate the document signing process, such as Docusign, Hello Sign, and Right Signature will provide a user-friendly way to get any document signed without ever having to use paper, a pen or a scanner. These services will even allow clients to sign documents straight from their smart phone while on the go. In addition, many of these providers attach a unique code and time stamp to each document signature.
What makes the process great is that the document signatures have the same legal validity and enforceability of pen-and-paper contracts.
Being a paperless firm not only improves overall efficiencies for completing work, but it also helps to reduce your company's carbon footprint.
Improved accounting practices aren't the only benefits to adopting a cloud-based business solution!
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