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One of the most underestimated paradigm shifts in the industry is your and your client’s move to the cloud.  The huge effects this move can have on your firm and your client’s business is truly unknown.  Cloud technologies are being developed at a rapid pace, and keeping up is very hard to do.  Here are four aspects of this move that you need to consider.

1.  Your client’s business process is broken, as is yours.  It is based on old school paper-driven, inefficient, multi-touch process that makes you rekey, retouch and redo multiple processes throughout your business.  A move to the cloud inherently allows you to eliminate so many processes that are currently performed by humans.  One major goal of the innovative cloud vendors is their target to eliminate inefficient business processes.  Become a student of the cloud, and you’ll be able to attack the inefficiencies of your and your client’s business processes.

2.  Contrary to popular belief, a move to the cloud allows the CPA to stop focusing on technology.  Instead, you get to benefit from a renewed focus on client relationship.  Most people think we have to be techy to move our clients to the cloud.  But moving to the cloud inherently means we begin to rely on other providers to “make the software work” (like Xcentric!).  No more backups, no more server domain administration, no more PC cleanups, and the rest.  In the cloud, the software “just works.”  Now we can focus on relationships, the very things we are eager to focus on anyway.

3.  CPAs have already been making a move to paperless workflow in their firms for years.  Good for you.  Now you can deploy the cloud for your client and take them paperless too.  “Paperless” and the “Cloud” go together.  Showing your clients how to go paperless delivers real solutions.  Our clients have said these solutions have “changed their lives”, and that they were able to eliminate administrative staff once their move to a paperless environment was complete.  Here’s your chance to become their hero!

4.  Selling cloud services to clients is no easy task!  The small business market is just beginning to wake up to the need for the cloud.  Be prepared to be patient, educate the client why their business model is broken and how going to the cloud is a secure move.  I’m passionate about a client’s move to the cloud because I’ve seen it transform businesses and the owners’ lives time and time again.  But people can’t see it up front.  The efficiencies come a few months later.  So you have to be committed to the sell for the long haul.  The client will be the one to ultimately benefit.  That being said, CPAs must also vet clients they are attempting to move to the cloud.  If the client is not ready (definition = management is mentally committed to the process), then they should not be forced to the cloud.

Jason M. Blumer, CPA is managing shareholder of Blumer & Associates, CPAs, PC. He wears flip flops and jeans, says “dude” a lot, and often works in coffee shops with headphones blaring the latest Bloomberg podcasts (though he doesn’t understand most of it). Jason loves new game-changing cloud technology and plays rock and roll too loud. His daily duties include consulting, process design, blogging, marketing and business development, innovative thinking, tax work, coaching, fraud consulting, practice management, and acting as a change agent. As the industry has changed, the need for new CPA firm leadership has emerged for the younger generation ready to move into the world of firm ownership.  Jason founded the THRIVEal +CPA Network to accommodate the needs of this new younger generation.  The THRIVEal +CPA Network looks to enhance the CPA profession based on the foundational tenets of Community, Collaboration, Technology and Innovation.

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