Why app knowledge isn’t enough for accounting firms to offer App Advice to businesses...

So you’re a firm beginning or in the midst of immersing yourselves into cloud accounting, the app ecosystem is coming more to the fore and you’re thinking “we need to learn these apps for when our clients need them” - I’ll stop you there. The sentiment is right but the thought process is wrong...

App knowledge will get you so far - learning the features, pricing, on-boarding requirements for 700 apps; simples... Obviously not and the key focus area of apps - they are simply an option to solving business problems... I get asked regularly “what are the top 10 apps my firm should invest time in?” and my response is “what are the top 10 business problems you are trying to solve for your clients?”

If you’re going to invest time in understanding how apps work for you simply go and speak/survey your clients for what their biggest problems are at the current time, then base your app investment in that area. There will be ad-hoc...

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Cloud Accounting - is your firm selling software or offering a business platform?

Over the last 4 years, I (Matt) have been involved in cloud accounting and engaging with accounting firms. I have watched/partaken in hundreds of client meetings, webinars, seminars and exhibitions where I have been listening to accountants explain what they do alongside their chosen cloud accounting software. 

For the majority of these sessions, whether it be 1-2-1 or 1-2-many sessions, they have pretty much launched into software demonstrations... Swinging right to left on the menu tab showing a bank feed, how to raise an invoice, payroll, VAT return process, system settings and some reporting overview. Then, it finishes and it’s over to the business or group of businesses to ask some questions. 

I’ve seen them done to varying levels of quality, some robotic and flat whilst others very engaging - that can make a difference to the outcome of the meeting or session. 

Nowadays, I tend to interrupt but in the early days, I would come away feeling that it was a...

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