This past weekend, Botkeeper hosted AI Unchained in Boston. The three-day event was centered around technology for accountants and bringing your practice to the next level. The all-star cast included the CEO of Expensify, the Botkeeper co-founders and National Google Cloud growth directors.
The overall message? Accountants are falling behind, especially when it comes to technology, and our fear of what the future will bring is making it worse.
David Barrett, CEO of Expensify, specifically spoke about this in his session. Ultimately, accountants are overwhelmed and overworked. There is always too much to do and not enough time to do it. Technology is a must to keep driving efficiency in our firms, avoid burnout, attract more people into the profession, and grow into the future. Failing to do so will ultimately result in a firm falling behind.
Part of the problem, however, is we already are so overwhelmed that the thought of choosing, learning and implementing new technologies overwhelms us even more and we end up avoiding it.
The solution, it seems, isn’t an easy one. While the conference provided a great foundation for driving growth, leveling up your leadership game, and a long list of potential technological solutions, little was offered in the way of addressing David’s point. How do you ultimately wade through the huge list of technology solutions out there to choose what’s right for your firm?
And even if you did have an endless amount of time and money to throw at the problem (which we don’t), you must get over the barrier of implementation with other overwhelmed and burnt-out team members.
I have certainly fallen victim to the analysis paralysis that occurs as a firm owner trying to make these decisions. If, on the rare occasion I agree to demo a product in the hopes it provides me with a solution, I rarely have time to fully use it while I’m in the demo phase to make sure it’s exactly what I need. This will typically result in me doing nothing after a demo or purchasing a product I later decided was not 100% of what I needed.
In my experience, the best solution to this has often been other practitioners. Hearing from someone who has utilized a product and can tell me their real-life love/hate relationship with it is a critical component to pulling the trigger on full commitment. I adopted the practice of not doing anything I couldn’t talk to another practitioner about first, unless it was something brand new that I felt would have a massive impact on my business.
A great tool that can be utilized to employ practitioners with product knowledge, is Insightful Accountant’s own first look videos and App Academy. You can access all for free on our YouTube channel.
Starting here will help you hear the perspective from practitioners actually using various software to give you a better understanding of how technology might be employed in your practice. I also highly recommend you make a tech priority list for your organization.
It is very easy to be pulled in a million directions and face the overwhelm that creates indecision. Assessing your practice first, for what technology solution would drive the most efficiency in your practice is better than employing solutions on a whim that may not ultimately contribute to your bottom line.