Building Client Relationships in a Distributed World

The business world is forever evolving and changing, and certainly these days technology has a lot to do with that.  The “Cloud” is something that has changed how businesses operate and execute their day to day tasks.  According to recent research by The Journal of Accountancy, 90 percent of CPA’s feel the delivery of digital business processes to clients will become a key differentiator among their competition in the next five years.  With statistics like this it is easy to say that CPA firms and accounting professionals have been impacted just as much as anyone by the increasingly distributed world we live in.

While there are clear benefits, cloud-enabled accounting solutions have greatly reduced or eliminated the need to interact directly with clients. Gone are the days of visiting client sites to help them process paper checks, or receive their paper records.

It’s almost enough to make an accounting professional miss the days of having an avalanche of coffee-stained receipts dumped on their desk for sorting. But in it all lies a great opportunity and there’s reason to be optimistic, at least according to the people who would know best.

We conducted a survey of over 364 accounting professionals, CPA firms, and small businesses for a few reasons.  We wanted to gauge their confidence in the economy, their confidence in their business prospects, and what their view was on how cloud technology is affecting their business operations.  We found that the majority feel confident about the prospects for increased business growth and stability throughout their industry and the economy.

In the customer sampling, 75% of the respondents that identified as CPA firms or accounting professionals using cloud storage and application technology indicated they are “very confident” about the future of accounting and their respective role in the industry. Another 21% said they were “moderately confident” about their future.

We found it interesting that over 63% of CPA firms and accounting professionals that responded to the survey were motivated to upgrade technology to either automate administrative tasks and increase productivity and efficiency or institute more flexible and responsive solutions for clients who increasingly expect an “always available” approach.  And if you’re wondering how they felt about their clients – 67% of respondents said what they liked most about their industry was building relationships with their clients.

So, while the client handshake might be going away, most seem to feel that their clients are here to stay. That’s because technology hasn’t eliminated the human connection for CPA firms and accounting professionals, but it has made it more possible.  The cloud-based strategy broken down is to meet the most common business needs while becoming more efficient.  By having the flexibility of using the best in class accounting applications, you will streamline your workflow by consolidating key tools like expense management, online mail management, tax management, and your accounting system.  Not only does this save accounting professionals time and money, but it allows them to focus on growing their business and to continue solidifying their client relationships.


Rachel Krug is Director of Product Marketing for Right Networks.