The Smartphone and The Accountant: It's No Toy! - Your smartphone isn't just a shiny new-fangled toy. This story details how to take advantage of your smartphone to increase your accounting practice's productivity
You may already have an excellent CPA website. If so, you're already on the right track. It will be a very long time before we unearth a better instrument in the constant struggle for improving efficiency than your website.
But you can't stop there.
To really succeed you need to look at a lot of other strategies. Most of these strategies are traditional and well known, but every now and then something new comes along, and the firm that spots and acts on these new trends fastest will benefit from them the most.
The smartphone is causing a transformation in the way services are being bought and sold, and accounting professionals need to start exploiting it.
A lot of people think of smart phones as some kind of fad or toy. They're a status symbol for kids, and these young people often spend hours a day texting and playing video games on them. It's understandable that they are earning a reputation as "time sinks", but nothing could be further from the truth. In the hands of a responsible adult a smartphone becomes a powerful business tool.
Once you join the "smartphone revolution," you'll see why they're so popular. With this tool, your productivity reaches new heights - and you even strengthen your client relationships.
Smartphones Increase Efficiency
Work from Anywhere. This is especially true during tax season - but it applies anytime of year: accountants are spending more time outside the office.
Whether it's visiting clients in their office, taking an afternoon to go to their daughter's ball game, or just working from home after hours, CPAs find plenty of reasons to leave the desk behind.
Smartphones make it much easier to do business away from your office. You have access to phone numbers, addresses, your calendar, and your email - all while getting your life done.
Not Ready to Start Hiring Again? When the recession hit, many accounting firms had to lay off staff - and they're not yet confident enough in the economic recovery to rehire.
Smartphones give partners a way to conduct the business of the office with fewer admins and assistants.
Smartphones Strengthen Client Relationships
Increasingly, accountants find that their clients expect a return phone call right away. If a client calls in with a question, it's not acceptable to wait until you're back in the office to call them back.
A smartphone is critical for keeping that client relationship as healthy as you can. With a smartphone, the client's phone number and address are right at your fingertips, wherever you are.
And because you can sync a smartphone with your email, you're able to access relevant information about your client, too.
50 Million Users Can't Be Wrong
There's no denying the popularity of smartphones. Here's a breakdown of the most popluar brands' market shares:
Blackberry - 41.7%
iPhone - 24.4%
Microsoft - 13.2%
Google - 13% (the Android operating system)
All told, nearly 50 million people in the United States use this technology, an 8.1% increase from earlier this year.
That's a lot of smartphones.
Take Advantage of the Experts
There's only one catch: if you're not technically savvy, it can be a bit tricky to set up your phone to sync with your email.
But do not fear. Providers of websites for accountants do this all the time - and they can help. Let your Webmaster handle all the techie details.
Whether you choose a Blackberry, iPhone, or the up-and-coming Droid - join the smartphone revolution today. Your accounting or CPA practice will benefit.
Brian O'Connell is the owner and founder of CPA Site Solutions, one of the country's biggest web design companies dedicated entirely to websites for accountants. His firm presently provides websites for more than 4000 CPA, accounting, and bookkeeping firms.
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