My name is Jeff Borschowa. I have been working in the accounting industry since 1991. In that time, I have seen a lot of innovation in the business world and have become increasingly frustrated by the status quo in the accounting industry.
I personally believe that the accounting industry must evolve and adapt if we wish to remain relevant to our existing clients and attract new clients. How do we evolve and still remain true to our accounting roots? Can accounting professionals embrace cloud technology? Should they?
The answers to these questions, and many more, have been my focal point for several years now. By accident, I have stumbled down the road less travelled and that has made all the difference.
On my personal journey, I have encountered many small firms, each as unique as their management team. For simplicity, I lump them into the following categories:
Traditional Firm: Typically they occupy a physical pspace that houses staff and hosts in person client meetings. The firm is interested in cloud technology mainly to improve efficiency or reduce overhead costs, they are not looking to become virtual.
Virtual Firm: These are usually start-up firms, looking to create a virtual firm with minimal overhead and staff. Their focus is on lean but profitable operations.
Hybrid Firm: Usually a mixture of legacy “traditional” clients and new “virtual” clients. The most common hybrid I see originated as a traditional firm and management is in the process of transitioning the firm and their clients to a virtual setting.
I do not judge one model to be better or worse than another. Each model has specific advantages and challenges. The “right” answer depends entirely on the personality and style of the accounting firm’s management, not some external scale.
I believe that the hybrid firm takes the most effort to operate – you effectively have two systems to manage and two types of clients. In the hybrid model, you definitely need clearly defined processes for everything. The added effort can yield great benefits as you can choose the best of traditional and virtual firms. Personally, I like the idea of running a traditional firm and building a distinct virtual firm in tandem. Maintain and service your existing “traditional” clients. Focus your growth efforts on new “virtual” clients.
I welcome you to join my journey and learn from my mistakes and successess. It will be cheaper to learn this way than to make your own mistakes!
My primary background is in small accounting firms with one to three partners, and generally fewer than twenty staff. This is relevant because it shapes my biases and defines my prioritization of issues. I will address this audience specifically as I shape my own personal Dream Practice.
Larger firms will still benefit from my research. Be aware that my solutions may need more effort to scale up to the needs of a large firm. After all, it is much easier for a firm of one to get consensus than even a firm of two!
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