On this episode of the Tech Talk for Accountants Show, Andrew Lassise chats with Chase Vowell, Chief Accountant at Flux Accounting. They discuss technology in accounting. You can listen wherever you listen to podcasts, watch on YouTube, or listen and read below.
About Chase Vowell and Flux Accounting
Flux Accounting was started around 2017 when Chase had no experience in accounting. “I really had no intentions of taking it to the heights it’s currently reaching,” Chase said. “I was really just trying to start a company with no overhead and bookkeeping was the thing I could do.”
Since then services have evolved.
“We are trying to change the accounting industry,” Chase said. “There’s a serious lack of focus on customer service. There’s a lack of adaption of innovative technology. And really just looking at how it’s looking on the client side. We thought there was an opportunity there.”
Chase’s hiring philosophy is to hire for personality first and accounting skills second.
“That way they are going to serve the client much better … they can relate to them and can get them to execute the things we need to execute,” Chase said. “That’s the direction we are taking it and are seeing a lot more success.”
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Biggest issues in technology in accounting?
There’s a lot of solutions out there when it comes to accounting technology. All of it should really communicate with each other, Chase said.
“You should be able to eliminate manual entry and everything works in this beautiful ecosystem,” Chase said. “The biggest opportunity out there … is making those solutions that don’t have connections integrate.”
Zapier is one tool that allows you to connect two unrelated software tools. If you need help integrating Zapier or other tools safely, feel free to give us a call or fill out the form below to get in touch:
“Zapier is amazing, because you don’t have to get into the code to use it,” said Chase. Be aware of any integration tool’s limitations.
For some more advanced integrations, development work is necessary and Chase said his company is even hiring a developer to help with those more difficult but necessary integrations.
Technology in accounting certainly is a field that’s evolving and growing. Andrew reminds that to remember to be aware of the true differentiators of software that you are evaluating. For example, he mentioned, there are thousands of results for “not your typical accounting firm.” How much of a differentiator can that be when so many are “not typical?”
“Statistically there are more accounting firms that claim to be ‘not your average accounting firm’,” Andrew quipped. “Of course, when everyone claims ‘not typical’ that makes it now typical.”
Chase says it’s come back to making things easier for his clients. For example, he said many are still asking for accounting copies from QuickBooks.
“That’s completely antiquated,” he added. “It can just sync back and forth. Then you don’t have to create accountant copy one time.”
Read next: Keeping it jargon-free in accounting
Accounting is a difficult thing and business owners love when you can make that easy for them, Chase said.
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How technology in accounting can help small businesses
Chase says that his team uses Mondays.com – a project management tool – and Chase can see all important information:
- Their deadlines
- Their estimated taxes
- And more
“This is really revolutionary for us. You can automate things, you can build in reminders,” Chase said. For example, based on estimated revenue, Chase can review the computer-recommended taxes. Then with the push of a button the client gets an email with the recommended amount.
“Harnessing that it offloads your brain,” Chase said. “How often have we forgotten to check in with the spouse or something like that. These technologies help us have better relationships with clients.”
For professional services companies, it can happen that once the sale is made the client can be forgotten. With technology in accounting automation some of those follow ups and reminders can happen by default. Employees can then focus on where a human connection is needed.
Technology in accounting evolutions and how to implement them
“That’s the next evolution of the service industry, you need to harness technology. Not to make it impersonal, but to leave room for only the personal side of things,” Chase said. “I’m not bogged down by creating spreadsheets. I can focus on only the personal.”
Some companies certainly take time to make that switch to technology assistance. Just like moving in the cloud was difficult and still is difficult for some.
“You’ll get the ‘we’ve always done it this way’,” Andrew said. “They say ‘hundreds of clients expect it this way.’ Humans get stuck. A lot of people – especially accountants in business for over 10 years – the reluctance of change or ‘if I automate that process I’m knocking myself out of a job’.”
Chase likened that worry to an entry level worker starting at McDonalds.
“If you are really worried about a machine taking your job, just get really good at everything McDonalds,” Chase said. “I really don’t understand why do you wan to do low-margin work that slowly is getting cut out.”
Learn how to optimize QuickBooks online, learn new things, is Chase’s advise. “Learn the system inside and out,” Chase said. “They are exposed to something for 40 hours a week and they don’t become an expert at it.”
Be curious what different features do. Also be aware of internal processes that negatively affect your clients. Then fix those.
“The world of business is too complicated for automation to take everything over,” Chase said.
Andrew added that you can find and add even more good clients when you automate processes that can be automated.
Years ago techs would have to tell clients what to do their computers to fix a problem. Then our techs were able to log in and fix it for them while the client could watch us fixing it. Now, we can turn on scripts that alert us of problems quickly.