In today’s fast-paced business landscape, the integration of technology has become a game-changer for accounting firms seeking efficiency, scalability, and increased profitability. A successful tech stack can serve as the backbone of a firm’s operations, streamlining processes, improving team collaboration, and elevating client experiences.
In this blog, we delve into the insights shared by Thomas Sphabmixay, the General Manager of TMS Partners and one of the Wize Mentors in Wize Mentoring, about building a robust tech stack in place for your firm.
Thomas’ Background Story: The Journey of TMS Partners
Thomas’ transformative journey began when their firm faced challenges due to an overwhelming focus on daily production, lacking a clear vision for the future. This led to inefficiencies in workflow, lack of systematization, and over-dependence on extraordinary individuals.
Five years ago, TMS Partners made a strategic decision to change their approach, seeking guidance from industry experts like Ed Chan. The firm realized the importance of adopting technology, creating streamlined processes, and nurturing their team members’ growth. This marked the beginning of TMS Partners’ transition into a tech-driven and efficient operation.
The Significance of Careful App Selection
One key is the importance of careful app selection for building an effective tech stack. With a plethora of software available, it’s vital for accounting or bookkeeping firms to focus on tools that cover 80% of their needs. Trying to implement apps for every minute task can lead to confusion, decreased productivity, and resource wastage.
Here are some of the apps that Thomas uses in running their firm:
- Karbon: It is a workflow management app that emerged as a pivotal tool for TMS Partners, streamlining their workflow and triage processes. By utilizing Karbon’s client portal system, custom checklists, and status updates, the firm improved client communication and project tracking. The integration of Practice Ignition with Karbon further enabled a seamless proposal-to-production workflow, enhancing overall efficiency.
- Slack: It is one of the communications tools available in the market which empowers real-time team communication. Slack served as the communication hub for TMS Partners, facilitating real-time collaboration among team members. The ability to share files, discuss projects, and integrate Zapier for automated notifications elevated the firm’s communication efficiency and productivity.
- Xero: It is the core accounting tool and leading cloud accounting software. Xero played a crucial role in TMS Partners’ tech stack. With its comprehensive features and user-friendly interface, Xero provided a solid foundation for managing the firm’s accounting processes.
- Zoom and Loom: These are popular video conferencing tools. Zoom and Loom enhanced communication with clients and team members, allowing TMS Partners to conduct virtual meetings, record sessions for future reference, and improve remote collaboration.
- Dropbox: It is an online storage drive for file safekeeping and sharing. Dropbox served as the go-to solution for TMS Partners’ document management, ensuring seamless access to files and organized storage.
Leadership and Change Management: The Key to Successful Implementation
Implementing a million-dollar tech stack requires effective leadership and change management. Introducing new tools without proper guidance and buy-in from the team can lead to resistance and hinder successful adoption.
Also, taking a strategic approach to change management, gradually introducing one meaningful change per month. This allows team members to experience the benefits of successful implementation and adapt to the new systems at a manageable pace. Early adopters pave the way for others, eventually leading to a tech-driven firm where extraordinary systems run on ordinary people.
Conducting a Tech Audit and Implementing Team Structure
To ensure that the tech stack aligns with the firm’s objectives, it’s important to conduct a tech audit. This process involves evaluating the purpose and fit of each app within the firm’s workflow and operations. By critically assessing the tools and their impact, accounting firms can optimize their tech stack for efficiency and productivity.
Additionally, implementing a clear team structure is essential. Dividing the firm into specialized teams allows for better collaboration and resource allocation. Each team can then focus on specific tasks, ensuring smooth workflow management and task allocation.
The Three-Phase Workflow System
To optimize workflow and boost productivity, Wize Mentoring uses a three-phase workflow system: discovery, proposal, and production. Each phase involves distinct stages that ensure seamless client engagement and delivery of services:
PHASE 1: DISCOVERY
During the Discovery phase, active engagement with potential or existing clients to understand their specific problems, situations, and queries. By thoroughly exploring their needs, the identification of the most suitable services can address their challenges effectively. This stage is characterized by agility and efficiency to strive quickly in transforming client interactions into valuable engagements. It is essential to strike a balance between providing valuable insights and not revealing all our solutions to avoid giving away too much for free.
PHASE 2: PROPOSAL
In the Proposal phase, convert the valuable insights gained during the Discovery phase into paid engagements with the client. The Client Manager collects the orders and processes them into well-crafted proposals. These proposals, such as Project Initiatives (PI), are tailored to precisely meet the client’s requirements. The goal is to ensure the smooth acceptance of proposals and a seamless transition into Job Ticket creation for our production team. Focus on creating comprehensive engagements that address the client’s needs and desires while ideally securing upfront payment details.
PHASE 3: PRODUCTION
Once the client accepts the proposal, our world-class workflow system triggers the creation of Job flow “tickets.” These tickets are then sent to our efficient production manager, who ensures that the work is promptly processed and completed. The Production phase is where the real action happens, as our dedicated team works tirelessly to produce top-quality deliverables that exceed the client’s expectations. The final output is diligently delivered to the client, achieving the ultimate goal of client satisfaction.
This 3-phase workflow system will allow the firm to provide exceptional services to clients while streamlining the entire process from initial engagement to final delivery. Prioritizing and understanding the unique needs of each client, presenting compelling proposals, and executing flawlessly during the production phase. It ensures the maintenance of a good reputation as a world-class provider of solutions and services.
Building a million-dollar tech stack for accounting and bookkeeping firms is no longer a choice; it’s a necessity for success in the digital age. By integrating the right tools, implementing effective leadership, and focusing on change management, accounting firms can transform their operations, elevate client experiences, and achieve remarkable growth. Thomas’ journey with TMS Partners serves as an inspiring example of how embracing technology can revolutionize the accounting industry and pave the way for a prosperous future.
PS: Whenever you’re ready… here are the fastest 3 ways we can help you transform your accounting/bookkeeping practice:
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