Academic journal article Journal of Accountancy

Smart Tech Tips

Academic journal article Journal of Accountancy

Smart Tech Tips

Article excerpt

Technology mistakes can cause higher expenses and lost revenue opportunities. During a session at the AICPA Advanced Personal Financial Planning Conference in January, Advisor Products President and CEO Andrew Gluck shared tips on how to avoid the biggest technology mistakes. The tips could prove useful for accounting firms and small businesses in general.

* Develop an integration strategy for all your software and applications. Accountants work with a multitude of technology systems, including everything from customer relationship management and tax rebalancing applications to portals that allow clients to see their financial data online. Ensuring that information can flow from one system to another requires plenty of due diligence. Ask vendors for demos that showcase how their technology works with other systems. And get the salesperson to provide references of customers who can talk about their integration experiences.

* Train your staff to get the most out of your technology. There's no use paying top dollar for nifty software if your employees don't know how to use all the bells and whistles that come with it. When reviewing a product, ask vendors about the availability of training options such as web videos and classes. Then integrate the new technology into your business processes and procedures after you purchase it--otherwise, you won't get the most bang for your buck.

* Make sure you have backup systems and that they work. When a hurricane hits or a key piece of hardware unexpectedly fails, backup systems allow a firm to keep doing business as usual. Backups need to be tested, too, though--preferably a couple of times a year. Otherwise, a missing software patch or outdated hardware may prevent the backups from working just when you need them most.

* Take full advantage of your website's marketing potential. …

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