7 top tips for implementing a new app for your accounting firm

Almost all accounting firms have been turning to technology to improve their service and processes, and gather real time information for their clients. So much so that ‘App Advisory’ is quickly becoming an entirely new revenue stream. So, Sam from Clarity and Ron from Futrli took on the task of identifying the 7 top tips for implementing a new app in your accounting firm. In September 2020 we recorded a Facebook Live discussing this very topic. You can see the recording here:

Thinking of growing your advisory services? Check out the Clarity calculator to see the size of your opportunity for your firm: https://clarity-hq.com/calculator/

7 top tips for implementing a new app

1. Focus on what problem you are trying to solve – Start with Why

Firstly, I’m sure Simon Sinek won’t mind us stealing his line. It’s important to understand why you’ve chosen a particular app and what problem you are hoping it will solve for your clients or your team. Often accountants accidentally sign up to be software resellers. 

But generally we aren’t natural salespeople and when you don’t enjoy doing something, you tend to avoid doing it. 

This approach also encourages accountants to push a tool on their clients, rather than identifying the right tool to solve the appropriate problem.

2. Invest some time in getting to know the chosen tech

Next, it is important to understand that there is a learning curve to any software. At the same time, there is no expectation on you to be an expert from day 1.

Take things step by step and at your own pace. The time you invest in softwares during implementation will save you double later down the line. Keep reminding yourself of your goals for bringing on new tech and you will put aside the time to make a success of it.

3. Communicate goals and purpose to the whole team

Communication to the team who will be using the tech is hugely important. Often someone has decided that the firm should use a new app and the team are told to get on and use it.  ‘The why’ needs to be properly communicated throughout.

How is it helping me to do my job better, quicker, more accurately?

How is it helping my client?

What problem is it solving?

The answer to all these questions needs to be communicated from Day One.

4. Get your money’s worth!

Make sure you are rinsing every bit of value out of every app that you are paying for. If you have an account manager – use them, they will have expertise that they can give you to help you achieve your goals. If they have a directory, get on it – it might bring some leads your way.  Do they have training/courses? Take them!

You may find that there are areas of the software you’re not using to full effect and you could be saving yourself a lot of time. Clarity has created a 14 Day Quick Start Guide to get you up and running as quickly as possible.

Furthermore, we have developed One Clear Path – a 90 Day programme to get Business Advisory Services systemised within your firm. Futrli has an excellent training course that also qualifies for CPD credits.

Clarity's One Clear Path. 3 simple steps to launch or scale business advisory services Clarity's 14 Day Quick Start Guide

5. Senior buy-in is important

Often a more junior member of the team or cloud champion is tasked with researching and then implementing a new app. 

This makes sense as bags of priorities already sit with busy partners and directors. With competing priorities, it is important that a bottleneck isn’t caused.

However, a roll out of a new piece of tech is unlikely to happen successfully without senior buy-in and weight behind it. They must be involved in communication, strategy and performance management.

6. Client segmentation and client grading

This is arguably the key for successfully implementing a new app into your accounting firm.

Your firm should carry out a client segmentation exercise to get to know the clientbase better.  This exercise will help you identify which clients might have particular requirements for new tech. Therefore, helping to find appropriate businesses for the tool rather than a generic roll out to all. 

Furthermore, it is key to understanding where each app sits within the ecosystem as well and what integrates with.  Other benefits of this exercise include marketing focus, identifying your best and worst clients and whether to remove any and practice management.

7. Use Clarity!

Finally, Use Clarity! Clarity’s portfolio view and action plans are brilliant ways of signposting businesses to the use of particular apps. E.g, after going through a strategic plan with your business, it might be a good idea to have MI, a budget and a cashflow forecast to help them get there.

The Clarity Portfolio View is explained in this short video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7MzETvOH5-c

This is a great place to introduce the likes of Futrli too. Reporting goes with Advisory like strawberries and cream! https://www.futrli.com/

In conclusion, we’d love to hear your comments about our 7 top tips for implementing a new app. Maybe you think we missed some!? 

In addition, why not arrange a call with one of the team today to understand how easy it is to implement Clarity and how you can generate significant profitable revenue quickly?  

An intro to Sam and Ron

So who is Ron Pearson? Ron, from Futrli, has had 2 years in Customer success in different industries and 2 years working as an account manager in Recruitment. His speciality is in advising clients on how to best strategically use the resources they have to achieve success. Find out more about him: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ronpea/.

And who is Sam Tasker-Grindley? Sam, from Clarity, has spent 8 years as a chartered accountant in small, medium and large accounting firms. He has led digital transformation and cloud adoption initiatives in each of these firms. Find out more about him: https://www.linkedin.com/in/samtg/.