CPA.com

Digital CPA: Hitting the High Notes

Geoffrey Moore
Simon Sinek

If you’ve been waiting for a reason to mark your calendar for Digital CPA: 2013 CPA2Biz Cloud User Conference, we’ve got a bunch: our keynoters. Last year’s Digital CPA offered a unique blend of detail and vision on technology adoption in the profession.  We expect this year’s conference (to be held Nov. 20-22 in the DC area) to build on that, and it all starts with the speakers we’ve lined up.

On Day 1, we’ll have an interesting lineup of political and economic experts who can map out the developments and challenges that could affect the accounting profession in the coming year.

Day 2 kicks off with Simon Sinek , a sought-after speaker and author of the business bestseller, “Start With Why.” His work is built on a simple concept: the most successful businesses revolve around “why” – what do you hope to achieve when you get out of bed each morning and go to work – rather than “what,” or the specific products and services your particular firm might offer.  The ability to inspire customers, voters or other audiences is what sets apart the most successful visionaries, Sinek says, citing such diverse examples as Apple Inc. and Martin Luther King.

“People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do things,” he says in a  2009 TED talk, one of the most widely watched ever.

Some of Sinek’s ideas intersect with tech strategist Geoffrey Moore’s – in fact, in the TED talk mentioned above, he references Moore’s concept of “Crossing the Chasm” to explain the technology adoption curve.  Moore is joining us again at Digital CPA this year, this time as the closing keynote speaker on Day 3. He has a unique ability to talk about macro trends in business and tie them back to changes within the accounting profession.

We hope you’ll join us this year. For a look at the preliminary agenda, visit www.digitalcpa.com.

CPA.com

Efficiency is the Name of the Game—How one organization made it happen!

As a trusted business advisor, you can take advantage of infrastructure efficiencies that allow you to focus on what you do best – advising your clients. Consider moving to cloud-based solution, and how an integrated bill management system, combined with a solid financial accounting system, may improve efficiencies within your firm. But, how do you do it? What are the benefits? And, how do your clients benefit? 

Recently the National Associate of Water Companies (NAWC) outlined how it accomplished noticeable efficiencies by moving to cloud-based solutions.  Along with the help from the staff at LarsonAllen, LLP, this water company improved collaboration and workflow efficiencies, while witnessing an increased benefit in the audit trail process, which aided in its annual audits.

You see, the NAWC was spending precious time twice per month dedicating time to meet with their LarsonAllen representative, reviewing, approving, and signing checks. The manual process, for this company of eight, fatigued dedicated and important resources. Once LarsonAllen moved to an integrated solution, the staff at NAWC could review, approve, and schedule online payments via check, ePayment/ACH, or PayPal with more flexibility and efficiency than ever before. And, best of all, the audit trail was built into the workflow solution.

Before the automated solution was put into place, NAWC staff would have to pull documentation and either email or fax it to LarsonAllen. With its cloud-based solution, users store documentation online, and the LarsonAllen staff can find answers on contracts and bills quickly. As a result, NAWC experienced a reduction in discovery hours and were able to provide faster, cleaner, and a more cost-effective audit trail.

Further, there was no more guessing about if or when bills were being paid. Mike Horner,

Director of Administration and Membership at NAWC, says, “Before [our automated solution was in place], I’d be walking the dog or taking a shower and I’d wonder if a certain bill had been paid. Because our [bill-pay solution] is cloud based, I can find the details immediately, on my home computer.”

So, rather than focusing their time on bill payment and management, the staff at NAWC is now more able to focus on their role at hand—educating the public on the safety of private tap water.

Learn more about how you can automate not only your firm’s bill paying processes, but also that of your clients; so they too can focus on what they do best—their business.

Read more case studies on how firms and their clients are implementing cloud-based solutions so they can focus on the business at hand.

Visit the Trusted Business Advisor Solution paperless bill management site today.

Is this the year your firm hopes to go paperless?

One tip: Invest in a quality scanner!

With new cloud-based services, like Bill.com's paperless bill management solution and Copanion's paperless tax workflow system, accounting firms are finally moving closer and closer to a true paperless office. Cloud solutions like Bill.com and Copanion's GruntWorx let you quickly scan and upload client documents as soon as they land on your desk, where you can then process, manage and act on these documents in a timely manner.

One word of advice, especially for this tax season, invest in a quality scanner. In a recent AICPA CPA Insider article entitled, "Don't Skimp on Scanners" author Alexandra DeFelice provides some excellent advice and tips on choosing the right scanner for your firm's needs.

CPA2Biz and Copanion recently ran a live web seminar on "Best Practices for Scanning Tax Documents." If you missed this complimentary web event, you can view it now in its entirety.

Are you using a scanner to upload, organize, store, process and manage client documents, from invoices to W-2s and 1099s and brokerage statements? Are you happy with the scanner you currently have? Finally, do you scan before processing or after the fact for simple archival purposes? What advice or recommendations would you have for CPAs shopping for a scanner? Please share your experiences here.