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5 Resources You Need For A Cloud Accounting Team (& 4 Ongoing Trends I’ve Spotted)

Uncategorized May 11, 2020

One of the key aspects of a thriving cloud adoption project within a firm is the right resource setup & mix of skills. 

Without this in place, it can lead to false starts and stagnating projects with firms wondering why they aren’t getting clients transitioned to cloud and why they aren’t seeing any return on the technology investment they have made.

So what type of resource setup is needed? 

Well in my experience it is the following:

  • Sponsor 
    • Someone within the accounting firm that is investing the time/money into the project for a return, normally someone with the vision of what adopting cloud can do for the accounting firm and SME’s
  • Orchestrator
    • Someone within the firm that is managing the strategy, vendor partnerships and the vision to work towards. 
  • Seller
    • Someone within the firm who actually speaks to clients about the benefits of cloud, the process the firm follows for taking SME’s through this transformation and conveys the value of the service.
  • Chief Techie 
    • Someone within the accounting firm that can implement the cloud solutions the firm has identified as part of their app-stack, stays educated with the app-stack and educates both SME’s and other members of the accounting firm. 
  • Techie team
    • The backbone of the Chief techie who focus on standard conversions to cloud and the standard level of tech adoption that has been identified by the accounting firm. Is sometimes a virtual team.

Now depending on the size of your firm it could be that some people wear multiple hats and that can be beneficial but too many times I have seen firm’s have one person wearing all hats or one key skill missing from the mix meaning that the project delivery and/or quality is affected.

Some ongoing trends that I see regularly from accounting firms:

  • One person wears all the hats
    • They are dealing with the vision/strategy, education, implementation, training and support. This person quickly runs out of capacity and the firm wonders why the project is stagnating. Occasionally this person also has another job within the firm so is trying to do this on the side.
  • A missing skill within the firm mix
    • For example a firm doesn’t have the ‘Selling’ person within the firm so if they don’t have anyone talking to clients about digital ways of working and how the firm can help them then there is no demand for the other skills and can lead to a stagnated project. On the flip side, if we have too much selling and not enough who can deliver this also causes the project problems. 
  • Too little resource
    • I have seen firm’s with 300 people have 3 people within their team then adding part time resource where there are 12 people who are told that 20% of their week must be given to the cloud project (these people are already over 100% capacity normally so cloud slips down the priority list) - but which 20%? What days/times? Who is even monitoring this is actually happening? 

In this scenario it means for a firm of 300 people they have the equivalent of a maximum of 5.4% of the workforce attributed to ensuring at least 50% of their clients get onboarded to cloud. And that’s if the part-time resource actually can get the 20% free time. It’s been a similar scenario when working with smaller firms - It’s the same calculation if you have 20-50 staff, what % of your staff are dedicated to cloud? In my experience if you want this to move at a quicker rate your % needs to be at a minimum of 15%. 

  • No Services or Products for Digital Adoption by SME’s
    • Accounting firm’s will be reading this thinking well how does that work in terms of covering 15% of staff cost - it works by having commercial services that these types of resources deliver. You can find out more about how to commercialise these services properly in our App Advisory Accelerator.

There’s lots of will and want within accounting firms but execution is lacking a lot of the time. My questions to your firm: 

  1. Do you have the right resources available to you?
  2. Do you have the right mix of skills to make this project a success?
  3. Are you giving your firm the right amount of resource to make this project a success?
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