Top 20 Cloud Accounting Insights from Intuit’s Firms of the Future

September 29, 2015 Yoseph West

A big congratulations to each and every one of Intuit's Top 20 Firms of the Future! That is a huge milestone and an accolade truly earned. At Hubdoc, we're big believers in learning from others and thought there was an opportunity to share the insights learned by these top firms as they moved over to the cloud.

Without further ado, here are the top twenty insights from Intuit’s Top 20 Firms of the Future.

How has cloud accounting made a difference in your business?

“When I first made the change, late 2008, I wasn’t expecting the huge jump in revenue that resulted. My year over year revenue has grown at a steady pace each year because of it.”
– Stacy Kildal,
 Kildal Services

“Cloud accounting has literally transformed my business. It’s become easier to manage, easier to scale, improved cash flow but, above all it has rejuvenated me and my team. We learn something new and are ‘wowed’ by new technology every day.”
– Cindy Henderson Magner,
Beyond Bookkeeping

“We have saved thousands of hours and dollars in saving, sending, and retrieving information by embracing the cloud.  We have been able to be a leader for our clients in understanding and making the transition to the cloud. Being a leader, we’ve been able to grow our client relationships by offering technology services.”
– Andrew Berg,
Berg Partners

“We no longer wait for clients to bring us their information. We have access to all of it, which allows us to be in control of workflow and staffing requirements. The ability to collaborate in real-time with our clients has strengthened our relations. We are now viewed as a trusted advisor. Our clients now have access to all of their information anytime, anywhere, on any device.”
– Steve Ellard, Steven M. Ellard CPA

“It’s a win for us as business owners. We take more frequent and longer vacations than ever before. And it’s a win for our clients. In an ‘Instant Gratification’ culture (hello Amazon!) you either keep up or lose out! Staff can work remotely whether it be at home, while on vacation or out of the country, increasing productivity. You have a very broad IT department at our fingertips to alleviate issues so you focus on client needs.” – Greg & DeeDee Barton, Gregory D Barton CPA & Associates

What advice would you offer accountants and bookkeepers considering making the leap into the cloud?

“Do it one client at time. Find one that is open to the idea and to whom you provide services that make it easy. In other words: it probably won’t be the client that you still have to go on site and open all of their mail and still doesn’t have online access to their banking.” – Stacy Kildal, Kildal Services

“Create your business model first. Identify who you are and what kind of clients you want. Then find the right cloud based solutions for your business model and your clients needs. Commit to your vision, and be ready to change as technology changes. Change equals opportunities.”
– Steve Ellard, Steven M. Ellard CPA

“Network with other professionals, do your research, decide which programs you like best, and develop your niche.  We don’t all need to support every program, and the more we each specialize in the parts we love best, the happier we will all be.” – Ingrid Edstrom, Polymath

“Have a set plan of how you are going to roll out the conversion. The plan’s purpose is to minimize the time you will be working between the old way and the new way as much as possible while also minimizing disruption to services to clients.”– Cindy Henderson Magner, Beyond Bookkeeping

“Do it! Stop waiting! It will be one of the best decisions you ever make! We can’t imagine running an accounting firm tethered to the ground by PC’s and servers. Let your practice fly and send it to the cloud! With the invention of laptops and smart phones, we can run our businesses from our homes, coffee shops, and at the park.” – Lindsay Polyak, Knutson CPA

What was the most surprising aspect of adopting the cloud?

“What has been surprising is how clients have really changed their attitude about adopting cloud solutions even in the last 2 years. Technology is moving very rapidly and clients are very open minded about going to the cloud.”  – Veronica Wasek, VM Wasek CPA

“How much ‘fun’ it is! The drudgery of accounting is gone. The Apps and bank feeds make the data entry seemless. Just a quick review and Voila! it’s recorded. Now we can spend time with what the data means! I tell my customers the cloud allows us to read your numbers. Just like some people read French, I can read financials. Those financials tell me things! Together we can interpret this data and turn your business dream into your reality! ”
– Debra Kilsheimer, Behind the Scenes Financial Services

“I’m still surprised by the number of people resisting new technology. There are amazing new programs coming out every day with the intention of making our lives easier and our businesses more successful. Embrace them with a hungry mind.” – Ingrid Edstrom, Polymath

“The most surprising aspect of adopting the cloud was how easy it was get staff and clients, new and experienced, to embrace the new technology. Once we had a foundation in cloud technology we could begin to have conversations with prospective clients about our offerings and discovered this was one of their top requests.” – Rebecca Kelley, EKS&H

“Our workload was no longer in a pile of paperwork and file folders on our desk. We couldn’t necessarily see what work needs to be done and there was no tool for managing our firm’s cloud-based workflow. We joined forces with other ProAdvisors to create Aero Workflow app to answer this call.” – Laura Redmond, Redmond Accounting

What is the best piece of advice you’ve received about moving to the cloud?

“Never think you have ‘arrived’. At Two Roads, we are constantly speaking with and testing new cloud technologies in order to provide the best possible accounting experience to our clients and staff.”
– Joe Carufe, Two Roads

“The best advice I’ve received about moving to the cloud is to test out the technology, participate in demos, get certified, and use it every day. The cloud can be overwhelming and taking the time to learn and be patient as everyone learns is key to making a move successful. If you test the systems, processes and people, it can help you identify issues and correct them before they become big problems.” – Rebecca Kelley, EKS&H

“The best advice I was given was to start with just one program in the cloud to see what it was like and calm any concerns that I had. As accountants, we like to have things in a set order and enjoy the comfort of doing things the same way. It is sometimes uncomfortable to try something new but once I did, I realized all the additional benefits the cloud offers.” – Cindy Schroeder, Bright Bookkeeping

“The best piece of advice I’ve heard is that ‘moving to the Cloud’ allows you to work Anytime From Anywhere. But, I don’t think it truly sinks in until we actually take the leap and try it out for ourselves. With my cloud-based firm, I can move my business anywhere in the world. This is valuable because my husband travels and I planned to have myself and our children follow him wherever his career would take us. And, it has also given me the Flexibility & Freedom to be very involved in my children’s activities while maintaining a constant open line of communication with my clients.” – Mariette Martinez, Marriette F. Martinez EA

“Cloud accounting creates so much more collaboration with clients.  Seeing activity in real time allows us to have the thought provoking conversations in a timely manner and to make recommendations that have real impact for the client.  Being in the cloud means doing the really fun stuff (strategy, what if’s, problem solving, profitability) almost all the time.”
– Shelley Johnson,
Allman Johnson Company

Thanks for reading! If you’ve moved to the cloud recently or are considering it, what are the biggest takeaways you’ve had so far? Love to hear from you.

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