How much do you charge for 3,840 hours of work?
Benefit minus cost equals value. Nobody else understands this better than CPAs. When it comes to using technology, however, understanding the value becomes tricky.
Can you say with 100% confidence that “ in my firm, a set of data is entered into the computers only ONCE and then it is only utilized or enriched by everyone else who needs / handles it?”
How many software applications you have in your office? How many office tools you have? Have you used software integration to make those software applications literally talk to each other? Paperless office was projected as a dream a few years ago and it still remains that, a dream. Many accounting firms send “internal use paper forms” from one department to another or one location to another. Moving (sending, forwarding) files by emails within office, across offices and from / to clients is a constantly repeating process.
A fairly reasonable estimate is that an 8 persons firm uses about 3,840 hours a year in just “ moving ” information / documents / data from point A to point B to point C and so on….right up to the end consumer of such information. Don’t believe? Ask and observe in your firm – see how much time each staff, in each department spends every day in just moving the information. The cost of such effort could well be over $ 100,000 a year. That’s value – if this cost can somehow be minimized, if not eliminated.
Bigger the firm, more the number of software applications, higher the use of emails and paper and more the time consumed in moving files. Time is money. Even if one follows “value pricing”, why waste hours in doing something that can be done by technology?
While technology makes it possible to do things faster, creates new choices, methods and processes – not necessarily always better, the market ensures that most software applications protect the data in their systems by making it secure with, mostly proprietary, encryption. If one wants to re-use that data, generally one needs to “select, export, convert” and then use – again adding to time, efforts and costs.
Let’s take an exactly opposite example. The “core science” behind all the fancy telephones and smart phones – the science that takes, carries and delivers voice (and now multimedia files), is identical across zillions of products and service providers. There is a “defined, accepted and implemented standard” that makes it possible. It’s like oxygen, only if it’s not there, we notice it.
On the other hand, the way technology works for accounting industry now actually changes the ownership of the data from the “creator” to the “store-keeper”. Yes, as a user, you do get the data on-demand but you cannot easily share – on-demand – it’s not “readily usable” across any and all technologies, software applications and platforms, unless you and your “consumer” are in the same technology uniforms!! Data and information security is required, but does it need to lead into costly and time consuming processes for sharing?
Competition propels innovation and customer always benefits from competition. When there is so much choice of technology solutions available off the shelf, it is critically important to make sure that all the pieces of the puzzle fit in properly. Software integration is too critical a factor to miss out. Like the several moving parts inside a car’s engine working in a synchronized way, it is necessary that several of your firm’s software applications pieces integrate well through software integration. If not, the end result is losing those $ 100,000 a year, or more, in repetitive manual actions. With the choices you have exercised over the years, there will be no one solution that fits all. Customized software integration will easily, more than pay for itself. You can create a paperless office, nearly, if your software integration is planned properly and executed meticulously.
When buying or changing software applications, paying detailed attention to software integration possibilities makes for a good commercial wisdom. The baton handoff (passing on data and information from one step into another) should be just that – a handoff, not recreating new batons for every lap of the race.
If you can bill for those additional 3,840 hours, how much more money will you make? Why leave money on the table(s)? Automate. Go for Software Integration. Turn your software applications and office tools into real pro tools using software integration. Generate More.
Hitendra Patil Chief Operating Officer Pransform Services, INC.
Pransform provides Services, Software and Consulting services Exclusively to the Accounting Industry. Services include Accountant / Bookkpeeper as a Service, Tax Preparer as a Service, Software Applications Developer as a Service, Automation, Software Integration Services, Tax Estimate Software, Document Management System SuperPortal etc.
6228, N Broadway, Chicago, IL – 60660 www.pransform.com 312.212.3550