The Poe Group team met Carla Caldwell at the AICPA Engage conference this year and we invited her on the podcast to discuss what everyone wants to know about… tech.
Carla is a master at educating accountants on how to convert to cloud-based systems and create a more manageable, and scalable practice. Carla’s title is Digital Transformation Specialist as she helps firms transform their firm into the age of tech.
Carla originally got her degree in bookkeeping and worked in the private sector before deciding to work in consulting, helping accountants convert to QuickBooks Desktop. She then worked at Sage Software, and then Xero, and now she is running her own consulting firm again.
In this podcast we discuss how Accountants are trained skeptics and that makes major system conversions intimidating. Accountants who decide to make the switch though are building a firm that can last. This is especially true in rural areas where finding buyers to take over is nearly impossible without a remote book of clients and a remote team. A virtually based accounting firm will have a larger pool of potential clients and in turn a much larger pool of potential buyers when it comes time to sell.
“You’re not limited to your geography”– Carla
Not only does using a system like Xero or QuickBooks Online (QBO) allow you to conduct business with a wider range of clients, but using tech also allows for freed capacity. You can hire an app instead of a person, and your people can focus more on client satisfaction and advisory work. Converting to the cloud is really about creating a secure exchange of documents, better project tracking/review, and more time to invest in growth and client service.
Watch the full conversation here, or take a listen on the player below.
00:50- Introduction to Carla
02:36- How Carla got into accounting
06:58- What is a Digital Transformation Specialist?
10:08- Accountants are change resistant
14:15- Digital transformation
16:00- How staffing needs are influencing tech adoption
17:33- Software changes in the industry
19:54- Where are accounting firms commonly lacking in technology?
25:50- What practice management software accountants should check out
31:00- Tech stacks
36:00- Struggles that aren’t digital
PS – Whenever you’re ready, here are 4 other ways we can help:
- Seller FAQ: Answers to the questions sellers are asking. From practice value, to timing, we’ve got you covered.
- Strategic Guide to Selling your CPA Practice Video: The how-to of selling a CPA firm.
- Accounting Practice Academy: If you’re looking for benchmarks, our 8-week workshop has a community of established firm owners that will help you get perspective, reduce your owner hours, and raise your bottom line. Email firstname.lastname@example.org with “APA” and we will fill you in on the details.
- If you want to chat about your exit strategy, email email@example.com with “strategy call” or request a call here.