When you go to see the doctor you have a high degree of confidence that the treatment your receive will be in your best interests. You are confident that the nurses, doctors and specialists and all the supporting providers and suppliers are aligned to your interests.
The role of bookkeeper has gone from that of recorder and ‘bean counter’ to a role of expert and trusted advisor. This places a benchmark at the outset: they must seek to emulate the same level of trust, confidence, and client focus as we all expect from our medical professionals. For sure this is de regur at the basic compliance level; the role however has changed dramatically due to the influence of new technologies and the shift toward cloud solutions. That raises issues of ‘best interest’ particularly when there is pressure to integrate multiple add-ons ‘for the sake of productivity gains.’
What’s needed to migrate towards the trusted advisor role is to walk in the shoes of the business owner, and not be overwhelmed with the ever-expanding choices being promoted to bookkeeping professionals.
The transition to ‘trusted’ advisor requires a mindset shift founded on the core premise that the firm or the individual can use technology to save themselves and their clients time and money, greatly increasing the value of the services they provide to their clients.
There are both soft skills and technical skills to acquire in the identity shift. Cloud-based accounting and bookkeeping is now a highly specialized set of skills that requires a daunting array of tech-savviness, business acumen, and people skills.
Accounting is the language of business
A business’s accounting should not be apart from the business, but rather be an integral real-time reliable component. In order to achieve this objective, the trusted advisor should provide co-developed solutions and services by collaborating with other solution providers. This will add value both for the financial information, and for the business process efficiencies (for both the firm and the client business).
In delivering the benchmark of acting in the interests of the client, the trusted advisor-bookkeeper will be sure to reduce cost, increase performance, safe secure backups, no upgrade fees, data sharing in real-time, and with unlimited access geographically for their clients’ business.
Not being just a human calculator requires expanding the soft skillset. Marketing, as a case in point is all about communication, and communication is about connecting with others, particularly our colleagues and our clients. For sure, there will be owners of SMBs that are still searching ‘Bookkeeper’. But as compliance bookkeeping has become easier to automate, many will re-train themselves to be effective at building deeper relationships with clients.
If priced appropriately they can cultivate a more profitable practice because they offer the business more value at a fixed price. Important is the ‘personality’ of the firm.