I started reminiscing about how far we’ve come as a profession after reading a blog on how artificial intelligence is changing the future of business.
Ah… the good old days:
When clients would only use their accountant as a bean-counter – begrudgingly engaging us to prepare documents only because they were required by law? (Not an ideal relationship)
When clients would send you zipped up dat files (that you’d receive two days later by snail mail) just so you could access their records?
When the only financial management activity clients did was get their financials done? Financials that were out of date (in management terms) before they were printed?
When your clients were limited to those who could physically get to your offices?
When we looked to the future and dreamed of the paperless office we’d have by 1999…?
Thankfully, the digital age has changed all of that – for the better:
Today, tools such as cloud accounting software give clients accurate, real-time data that they can access anywhere, any time, from any device. These tools also facilitate collaboration with clients. We’ve gone beyond relationship – to partnership.
Today, we provide real value to clients – we help ensure they have accurate records, help them identify their key business drivers, help them set up KPIs to monitor the metrics that matter, and interpret monthly or quarterly performance to determine if they’re on track, or if corrective action is required.
Today, accountants are no longer bean-counters. We’re business advisers.
Today, tools such as client portals and electronic signatures provide instant access and authorisation capabilities in a far more secure (and infinitely more convenient) fashion. We’re finally edging towards the paperless office promised all those years ago.
Today, tools such as MYOB PayDirect are transforming how SMEs interact with clients, helping to facilitate transactions that better suit our client’s needs.
Today, you can offer your full service suite to clients located anywhere in the world.
And today, I can share these musings with you – wherever you are – with the click of a button.
Yes, I vaguely remember the old days… but they seem so long ago now. Thankfully.