Hubdoc caught up with one of Australia’s leading cloud accounting firms, Growthwise, to get their insights on app fatigue.
Almost every industry is experiencing some degree of app fatigue – including the accounting industry.
With the explosion of the cloud accounting app landscape over the past few years, accountants and bookkeepers are becoming overwhelmed by the vast selection of solutions. The resulting confusion is actually starting to impact their firm’s productivity!
How does one navigate this landscape? How can you determine which apps will actually help you increase efficiency and improve the client experience?
Beau Gaudron from Growthwise, offers his insights on how to overcome app fatigue and identify new apps that will drive results at your accounting practice.
1. Identify your firm’s inefficiencies
It might seem obvious, but before you can choose an app to fix a problem, you need to identify the potential problem first!
Beau explains that: A great way to start identifying inefficiencies in your bookkeeping workflows is to document your workflows – our free workflow documentation template can help.
It’s also important to note that advisor and client issues aren’t mutually exclusive. If an advisor is having issues getting documents from their client, odds are the client is having issues getting those very same documents to their advisor!
Change your mindset – thinking about resolving client issues as a way to reduce friction in your workflow is a great place to start.
2. Evaluate app solutions
Sometimes, what feels like the right solution might not actually be the right solution. Once you’ve defined a potential problem, it’s important to do your due diligence to discover the best tech option(s) for your business challenges.
A key advantage of free trials is that they allow you to test with your own data. For instance, you can test the app on different types of clients and determine for whom it will work best. It’s also important to track potential time savings – keep track of how long certain tasks and processes take with and without the app, and take these time savings into account when making your decision.
It’s also important to extend your evaluation process beyond the trial itself – read reviews in an ecosystem marketplace and look for recommendations from industry thought leaders.
3. Make your decision
Even after performing your due diligence, it can be tough to make a final decision. Choosing a solution that doesn’t end up working out can be costly – be sure to consider everything, from implementation, to onboarding, to continued support.
According to Beau, a good ol’ pros and cons list can help:
A few questions you should consider before making your official decision:
- Implementation – How easy is implementing the app for the advisor and for the client?
- Onboarding – How strong is the app at facilitating onboarding and maintaining world-class support? How much has their team invested in you getting started? Do you feel supported in your due diligence process?
- Support – Who do you contact if something isn’t working? How frequently are updates and new features released?
Of course, the decision you’re making is going to have a monetary cost, but don’t let this remove your focus from the solution the app is providing:
A lot of the time people focus on costs instead of the actual benefit to the client or the benefit to the internal team. The main aim for us here is to ensure that we are solving the problem we set out to.
4. Always be evaluating
Of course, this isn’t a one-and-done process! Overcoming app fatigue means consistently evaluating your tech stack, checking to ensure that everything is working optimally, and seeking new solutions as necessary.
However, be aware that one of the side effects of app fatigue is a tendency to chase after everything that’s new.
You might be wondering who is going to manage the app selection and implementation process (and/or, how you’re going to find time to manage this process). If you’re a smaller firm and don’t have a team dedicated to technology and implementation, an individual who is tech-savvy and understands your clients’ needs is a great choice. If your objective is growth, a department specializing in implementation is something you must consider.
Regardless of who takes on these responsibilities, prioritizing app selection is critical for future-proofing your firm.
Embracing app selection
Every business needs to think proactively about change.
Automation is a key component to scaling effectively. Apps are the key drivers of automation and will continue to be in the coming years. As such, learning how to identify and evaluate apps that will drive results is a necessary skill in our ever-changing technology landscape.