In recent years two growing trends have emerged in the accounting profession. One is the growing amount of software programs used by small businesses, and the other is a move by some accounting firms back toward single vendor software models where clients are urged to use only the one accounting software program they recommend.It may surprise you to hear that I certainly don’t advocate the latter. While of course we want people to choose Reckon products, it would be naïve for us, or for accountants, to assume our software will be the only program clients will ever use.
The case for ‘one process’
Many of our customers still indicate that their accountant is a key influencer on their choice of accounting program; many tell us this is why they choose Reckon Accounts accounting software. But more and more of our customers tell us their choices are now heavily influenced by family and friends, business partners and online reviews.
Small business owners often arrive at their accountant’s office with an accounting software decision already made or having done a lot of their own research. From my point of view this is a good trend as it’s forcing accountants to learn more about the whole spectrum of accounting technology available today.
But with a myriad of accounting software products now being used by small businesses, those in accounting firms tell me a new problem has been created – an increase in time spent entering data. This image below give you a simplified idea of how the process is often described to me by many Acccountants in this position.
As you can see above, Accountants are receiving data in many different ways. The client could sending their data file by email, on CD, on USB or via the cloud. It’s not surprising that some accounting firms would therefore encourage clients to use a particular accounting software product to avoid the data entry headache – the theory being that if every client is on a single program the firm supports then it’s easier to manage client data. But the problem with this is it limits the small business owners choice and potentially forces them onto a program that’s not the most suited to their needs.
Introducing Reckon SyncDirect
We now have a new tool to enable ‘one process’ Reckon SyncDirect. Reckon SyncDirect is a simple tool that works with the Reckon APS suite. The tools helps convert data from almost any common accounting software program directly into the Reckon APS ledger (XPA). This image gives you a graphical overview of how the tool works.
By creating ‘one process’ for managing data from the client’s software into the practice compliance software, firms will be able to give small businesses the freedom to choose the best program to suit their needs, whilst also establishing ‘one process’ in the accounting practice to streamline compliance.
Will turning clients away because of their software choices have a negative impact on the accounting profession?
We’ll be talking more about the importance of choice and ‘one process’ and Reckon SyncDirect at the Reckon Roadshow in May in cities and towns across Australia and New Zealand And we’d love to see you there.