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100% Cloud – Your Action Plan for Success
1© 2020 Innovation Training Limited 2017
QuickBooks Connect London 2017
100% Cloud —
Your Action Plan For Success
Ian Fletcher
Managing Director, 2020 Innovation
QuickBooks Connect London
6–7March 2017
100% Cloud – Your Action Plan for Success
2 © 2020 Innovation Training Limited 2017
QuickBooks Connect London 2017
Disclaimer and Copyright
This paper should not be relied upon as comprehensive guidance but as a reminder of the
key points of marketing cloud accounting services. It is written for accountants to help their
clients understand their choices and to provide marketing guidance. No responsibility for
loss occasioned to any person acting or refraining from action as a result of the material in this
document can be accepted by the author or 2020 Innovation Training Limited. This material is the
copyright 2020 Innovation Training Limited and must not be used or released without our express
advance written permission.
Trademarks
© 2017 Intuit, Inc. All rights reserved. Intuit, the Intuit logo, Intuit ProLine, Lacerte, ProAdvisor,
ProSeries and QuickBooks, among others, are trademarks or registered trademarks of Intuit, Inc.
in the United States and other countries. Other parties’ marks are the property of their respective
owners.
Notice to Readers
The publications distributed by Intuit, Inc. are intended to assist accounting professionals in
their practices by providing current and accurate information. However, no assurance is given
that the information is comprehensive in its coverage or that it is suitable in dealing with a
client’s particular situation. Accordingly, the information provided should not be relied upon as
a substitute for independent research. Intuit, Inc. does not render any accounting, legal or other
professional advice, nor does it have any responsibility for updating or revising any information
presented herein. Intuit, Inc. cannot warrant that the material contained herein will continue to be
accurate nor that it is completely free of errors when published. Readers should verify statements
before relying on them.
100% Cloud – Your Action Plan for Success
3© 2020 Innovation Training Limited 2017
QuickBooks Connect London 2017
About Your Presenter
Ian Fletcher, FCA FCCA
Managing Director
2020 Innovation Training Ltd
Ian Fletcher is a Chartered Accountant having trained at the London office of a “Big 4”
international practice.
A well-known lecturer and business consultant, he has gained a reputation for his entertaining
style and practical approach to practice management. Ian majors in management issues,
specifically dealing with the systemisation of accounting practices.
He is the co-author of books on business consulting and adding value.
100% Cloud – Your Action Plan for Success
4 © 2020 Innovation Training Limited 2017
QuickBooks Connect London 2017
100% Cloud — Your Action Plan For Success
The benefits of moving your clients to cloud accounting software can be enormous:
•	Having data in real time means faster compliance and more scope for business advice;
•	Complying with Making Tax Digital requirements will be relatively straightforward;
•	Clients like the fact they can see their financials on their mobile 24/7;
•	You attract and retain younger people who now expect a high level of technology;
•	Systemised and tech driven accounting firms are more attractive to potential clients; and
•	The capital value of a cloud accounting firm is significantly higher than a traditional practice.
Just suppose…
Your people could handle more clients in less time, technology worked for you with time and
profit wins, high-value new clients were attracted to you, brand and reputation increased and
your firm was less reliant on you?
Make sense? Let’s get started…
In this guide we will show you how to move existing clients and to attract potential clients to your
firm by marketing activities surrounding their accounting function. Your objective is to get 100%
of your clients onto the Cloud. For those clients who cannot move you may choose to act as a
“Digital Buffer” between them and HMRC.
Introduction
The market for cloud accounting packages has matured significantly in the last 2 years.
There are now many software providers offering a variety of products. This guide is not
concerned with the pros and cons of one provider over another; it’s about moving your clients
away from a desktop package, manual books or spreadsheets and onto the cloud.
In 2015 HMRC issued a paper, Making Tax Digital see: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/
system/uploads/attachment_data/file/484668/making-tax-digital.pdf
Further consultations were issued in August 2016, proposals outlined on the 31 January and
draft legislation is planned for the March 2017 Budget. By 2020 HMRC aim to have a fully
digital tax system.
This is going to have serious ramifications to the way we work and to the way clients have to
interact with HMRC. We are now seeing digital reporting and digital tax accounts becoming
a reality.
So we’ve got a 3-year time frame to move our clients from desktop to the cloud. Even if the dates
get pushed back a year there is no excuse for not getting our clients ready for Digital Tax.
100% Cloud – Your Action Plan for Success
5© 2020 Innovation Training Limited 2017
QuickBooks Connect London 2017
The Big Issues
Our industry is changing rapidly:
We are seeing a large number of new start-ups who are competing with traditional accountants
for smaller clients. Many of these new firms are entirely cloud based.
New Apps that integrate with Cloud accounting software mean the collection, processing and
output of data is now effectively paperless and the processing is automatic.
3 out of “Big 4” are now competing directly with independent firms for our SME clients using
cloud accounting as their leading service line.
We are seeing significant changes to the way firms organise themselves and prepare
management and final accounts as a result of cloud accounting. With online accounting, firms
can decide when they want to produce their clients’ monthly, quarterly or year-end accounts. This
changes the dynamics of work loads and stops time wasting, and the sometimes irritating efforts
of chasing clients.
Firms are seeing significant savings in the time needed for the processes with 3 resulting
consequences
1.	 Reduced fee quotes for client’s compliance work;
2.	 Opportunity to offer book keeping support at very competitive prices; and
3.	 More time available to offer business advice to clients.
The drive to move to a subscription based cloud accounting package is coming from
accountancy firms and also from the software providers themselves, direct to the market. Business
owners are now making the software choice themselves. So if some of your clients will choose
their own software direct and expect you to work with it, other clients will need your advice.
Some clients will not want to change and you will need to consider whether these meet your
criteria and, in some cases, you may choose to let them go elsewhere. Someone said once:
“We’ve got to stop letting the tail wag the dog!”. (Anon.)
The market will become increasingly fluid over the next few years and only those firms that
embrace the cloud and the changes it brings will be able to maintain profits and move away
from traditional compliance based services and into the business advisory market. Firms that do
not change will be left “chasing shadows”.
100% Cloud – Your Action Plan for Success
6 © 2020 Innovation Training Limited 2017
QuickBooks Connect London 2017
What are your BIG issues right now?
Take a few moments to note them down and what you need to do to remove the barriers
to change.
100% Cloud – Your Action Plan for Success
7© 2020 Innovation Training Limited 2017
QuickBooks Connect London 2017
Training
Before we undertake a change programme for moving clients to the cloud, it’s a good idea to
get your team certified in your chosen software or with a variety of providers. 2020 are of the
view that all fee earners should be certified in a variety of software rather than one alone because
some clients will be making their own choices and not all will rely, or indeed like, your choice.
So, set a programme up to train and certify your fee earners, most will enjoy a new challenge!
Additionally, many providers (Intuit especially) give you additional benefits for being certified
— like marketing your firm to small businesses who need accountants, and who use the same
software.
The reason behind this certification is to ensure your existing and potential clients understand
you are cloud accounting specialists. This is a powerful message when we come to marketing.
Ensure your web site states you are certified in cloud accounting and put the logos of the
software providers on your page.
Having your fee earners trained and certified in the major providers’ software is a useful
marketing tool, as well as an essential element in making the accounting processes as efficient
as possible in your firm. By training all fee earners you will also remove much of the resistance to
change and should be able to achieve your goals a little more easily.
Strategy
We’ve advised many firms on the steps needed to manage the change from desktop to cloud
and the key item on every agenda is strategy. Take time to outline where you want to be in 3
years’ time and what your practice will look like after you’ve made the changes, ask:
What will our practice look like in 3 years when we have moved our existing clients to the cloud?
•	Turnover;
•	Number of clients;
•	Type of clients;
•	Staffing levels and training;
•	Overheads; and
•	Profit
What changes in the way we do things need to be made immediately and then over the next
3 years?
•	What is our action plan to make these changes?
•	What budget and resources do we need to make the changes?
•	How are we going to monitor our progress?
Once you’ve got a strategy you can plan to make the changes. Some of these changes are
fundamental and go against the grain of many traditional time sheet based practices. Two key
changes will be a move towards monthly (or quarterly) billing and the fixed pricing of services.
100% Cloud – Your Action Plan for Success
8 © 2020 Innovation Training Limited 2017
QuickBooks Connect London 2017
Immediate Action Plan For 100% Cloud
1.	 Set out a vision of what your practice will look like in 3 years’ time;
2.	 Get all your fee earners certified in Cloud accounting software;
3.	 Put your own accounts on a cloud accounting package, become an advocate;
4.	 Have a set of accounts you can use for demos to clients on your mobile / tablet;
5.	 Hold a meeting to discuss and ensure all fee earners understand there will be changes in the
way they bill, prepare accounts, file data and deal with clients;
6.	 Research how apps could help with the input of data;
7.	 Be aware that technology will adapt over the next 2–3 years to accommodate digital tax and
keep a flexible approach to the apps and software you currently use and could be using. For
example, think about “best of breed” as opposed to current “all in one” practice management
software; and
8.	 Write an education and marketing plan to convert your clients to the Cloud.
NOTES:
What immediate actions are you taking to remove the barriers that once held you back?
100% Cloud – Your Action Plan for Success
9© 2020 Innovation Training Limited 2017
QuickBooks Connect London 2017
NOTES (cont’d.):
What immediate actions are you taking to remove the barriers that once held you back?
100% Cloud – Your Action Plan for Success
10 © 2020 Innovation Training Limited 2017
QuickBooks Connect London 2017
Marketing Plan and Material
Your chosen cloud providers will provide much of the flyers and copy you need to push and
pull market your services to business owners. Other content can be researched easily from
the internet.
Essential Marketing Activities for Moving Existing Clients to the Cloud
So we’ve set the strategy and started training the team. The first step is to educate clients on
the benefits of cloud accounting software, the second is to demo your solutions and to then
close the deal!
Research and database
There are 2 ways to market cloud accounting — specifically to those clients who are not yet using
it and a general “scattergun” approach to existing and potential clients.
For pull marketing (social media) you will be using the latter and you can do so for push (email,
newsletter, letter) also but specific targeted push (e)mailings give better results.
So consider whether you should look through your client database and identify the accounting
package your clients are currently using and avoid marketing to those already converted to
the cloud.
Two Marketing Plans
Once you created your list of clients (from above), you will need to prepare 2 marketing plans.
1.	 Social media and web activities to show potential clients the benefits of moving to the cloud
and explain your expertise in this area; and
2.	 Push direct (e)mailings and newsletters (push) to specific existing clients including (telephone
follow up to existing and potential clients).
Social Media Marketing Plan
The purpose of this plan is to identify your firm as a specialist in cloud accounting and to
relentlessly educate business owners of the need to, and benefits of moving to the cloud.
This guide is intended as a reminder of the basics of Social Media. It is intended to help firms
refocus and reinvent themselves in this area and as such is a checklist and not a “How to” guide of
which there are many available.
Introduction
So let’s gets started. In order of priority and marketing spend, social media comes after a Formal
Referrals system, “Push” (direct emails, newsletters and letters) marketing and an up to date and
interactive website. So allocate resources accordingly. As a benchmark the most profitable firms
spend more than 3% of their Gross recurring fees on marketing.
For smaller firms it is about letting clients and prospects know you exist, are relevant and forward
thinking. Specifically, in today’s business environment, this means giving information about Cloud
Accounting, Digital Tax, Auto Enrolment and how you can help businesses grow and prosper with
your services.
The key element to a successful social media programme is being regular and consistent in your
message and this involves daily activity.
100% Cloud – Your Action Plan for Success
11© 2020 Innovation Training Limited 2017
QuickBooks Connect London 2017
We recommend your social media activities should take around 1 hour per day or 5 hours per
week. Fee earners are responsible for providing 50% of the content from simple case studies and
client testimonials, personal achievements, exams, charity work etc.
Social media should be done by a younger member of the team or a non-fee earner.
25% of the content should come from retweets and 25% on technical (tax, technology, HR,
finance, Government and general business matters). This is just a guide and you should be able
to generate most of your messages internally.
In order of priority you should be on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.
You should have software to pre plan your weekly activity and automate the tweets or posts, such
as Hootsuite. This type of application makes social media a lot easier to manage.
Checklist of Social Media Activities
1.	 Follow / Connect to: all your clients and prospects. They should follow back and you have
“built your audience”! Retweet / share as appropriate.
2.	 Follow / Connect to:
a.	 Government (HMRC)
b.	 Professional bodies (ICAEW, ICAS, ACCA, Law Society)
c.	 Business organisations (IOD, FSB, Chambers of commerce, Pensions Regulator) and Trade
Associations
These often provide research and statistics which can be retweeted or shared.
A list of professional associations can be found on Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/
List_of_professional_associations_in_the_United_Kingdom
3.	 Follow your cloud accounting and other software providers. Their content is very relevant if
you are converting clients from desktop to digital. Retweet/share as appropriate.
4.	 Every time a fee earner does something positive in their work e.g. converts a client to
the cloud, saves tax, spots an opportunity, get them to let you know and (with the client’s
permission) or anonymously, post a short summary and/or a testimonial. Every time an
individual or the firm achieves something or does something for the community share this.
These do not have to be detailed:
“(Jim Smith) of (Triple A Taxis) has moved his accounting package to the cloud. We helped him
make the move seamlessly and now he can see his figures 24/7 365 on his smart phone! Jim
says “I can’t believe what a difference this has made to my business”. Contact us if you want to
move onto the next generation business revolution!” (you might keep this anonymous) and:
“Yet another business moves to xxxxx cloud accounting package. We’ve done it again! Our
client, a [insert type of business] has seen the benefits of [invoices that send and chase
themselves, hassle free expense tracking on their phone, automatic bank feeds etc. etc. Insert
and rotate regularly] If you haven’t seen the light yet contact us!”
Always add @twitter, @instagram etc. handle for your software provider. That way, the
provider should retweet giving you even more exposure.
5.	 Ensure your fee earners retweet/repost the firm’s tweets/posts. This shows their commitment
to your firm and will help your firm reach out beyond existing clients and prospects.
100% Cloud – Your Action Plan for Success
12 © 2020 Innovation Training Limited 2017
QuickBooks Connect London 2017
6.	 Link posts back to your web site if you are offering a free demo or consultation, a place where
readers can email you directly for more information. Follow up with a phone call to book an
appointment.
7.	 Monitor your results weekly and evaluate success or change your methodology:
a.	 Number of followers, connections and likes;
a.	 Number of tweets and posts;
a.	 Retweets / Shares;
a.	 Number of demos / consultations requested as a result of social media activity; and
a.	 New businesses as clients / work done as a result of the activities.
8.	 Be relentless in your approach to Social Media. Reaching out to clients and prospects means a
strict daily routine and the discipline to make it happen.
Relentless Means Relentless!
Some further examples of tweets / posts:
-–- Wow — hassle-free payroll! Save time by sending payslips by email and filing information (RTI)
with HMRC. Want to know more? Contact us!
-–- See your accounts anywhere you’ve got internet or phone reception with our new online
accounting software. Call us for a free demo!
-–- Fed up with your annual subscription for your accounting software? Talk to us about monthly
subscription based software.
-–- Get a clear view of your financial position anytime, any place!
-–- Never do back-ups of your accounting software ever again!
-–- Run your business from work, home or on the go.
-–- Automatically generate and submit your VAT return with one click.
The list goes on! If you need inspiration, look at the major cloud software providers’ web sites. So
a typical daily post / blog plan would be:
1.	 Testimonial;
2.	 Benefits message; and
3.	 Case study / benefits message
100% Cloud – Your Action Plan for Success
13© 2020 Innovation Training Limited 2017
QuickBooks Connect London 2017
SOCIAL MEDIA ACTION POINTS
Take some time to note down what you are going to do differently.
100% Cloud – Your Action Plan for Success
14 © 2020 Innovation Training Limited 2017
QuickBooks Connect London 2017
Website
Many firms have what we describe as “an online brochure”. There is no “stickiness” or reason to
revisit the page so update it weekly as a minimum with new case studies and testimonials. Use
video as well as text if you can. We prefer twice weekly updates but it’s a matter of time and
resources. Create a video with your voice and slide show with Adobe Spark:
www.spark.adobe.com.
Record a 10 minute webinar or series of webinars about the features of the apps and cloud
accounting packages. Use www.gotomeeting.com which is run by Citrix and has plenty of online
training to get you up and running. Post these webinars on your site with intriguing titles based
on pains that customers are feeling.
Whatever you think about your website, focus on cloud accounting software and the benefits of
changing from desktop. Your software provider(s) will give you content and in some cases help
you with video and other material. Ask them — they will be more than accommodating.
Additionally, take a critical look at the text you are using on your website. Is it all about “we”
(meaning your firm) or, is it about “you” (meaning the client). It should be all about the benefits
that “you” the client, will receive by working with “us” (the firm). A quick count of the number of
times you use the word “we” versus the word “you” on your website, will tell you what you need to
change. “By working with Firm XXX, YOU will receive” (benefits).
Allocate sufficient resources to getting and keeping your site modern and distinctive. Direct your
social media activities to your website and specifically to your cloud accounting benefits and
“book a demo / meeting” web page.
Allocate a daily routine for updating the website, consider a Twitter feed on the front page, add
content 2–3 times per week. This should take 1 hour per day of your marketing persons’ time.
Train your marketing person on Word Press (or similar) so they can change the content of the site
easily. It is best to do this part of your business rather than use an outside web master as you will
have more control and will be able to make the changes much faster.
We’ve learnt from top accountants not to complicate your website and stay on message!
If you do not have the resources or appetite to change your main web site then consider a Micro
site (one page) specifically to host case studies and your blogs with a “Click for free demo” button
so prospects can contact you and you can call to arrange the demo.
100% Cloud – Your Action Plan for Success
15© 2020 Innovation Training Limited 2017
QuickBooks Connect London 2017
Below is part of the micro site we’ve written:
This is deliberately simple and designed purely hold blogs and the link for a demo.
WEB SITE ACTION POINTS:
Take some time to note down what you are going to do differently.
100% Cloud – Your Action Plan for Success
16 © 2020 Innovation Training Limited 2017
QuickBooks Connect London 2017
WEB SITE ACTION POINTS (cont’d.):
Take some time to note down what you are going to do differently.
100% Cloud – Your Action Plan for Success
17© 2020 Innovation Training Limited 2017
QuickBooks Connect London 2017
Direct (e)Mail and Brochure Campaigns
In our view, push marketing by email, letter and newsletter works best with telephone follow up
and a script to get a date to do a live demo at the clients’ premises or remotely.
On the subject of communicating with clients, our client satisfaction surveys show that 58%
like to receive an email, only 6% prefer to visit the website and 36% prefer a newsletter.
Interestingly 30% want to hear from their accountant once a month, 20% only when relevant
and 50% quarterly.
So What Should You Plan To Do?
We recommend a monthly tax newsletter to all clients, a quarterly general printed newsletter and
emails or letters when you have some important news.
Now here’s the important part. You need to use targeted push marketing after a general email
to all clients. The monthly tax and quarterly general newsletter are fine but they are sent out for
general awareness and not specifically at a targeted audience.
To start the process there is nothing wrong with a “blanket” approach of letter and flyer to all
clients “announcing our new accounting service” type approach, but thereafter it needs to be a
systemised and targeted approach.
So if you are going to push cloud accounting then you need to target specific businesses and
prioritise the order in which you do the mailings. After all, doing the demos and converting
clients takes time and you don’t want to book 25 appointments in a week for one person, it’s just
not possible. So analyse your bank of accounting clients on a spreadsheet and note their current
version of the accounting package they use.
If we focus on Making Tax Digital ( MTD) then we should organise our client portfolio into the
following categories:
•	Exempt from Digital tax;
•	Unincorporated businesses which are small and in the category to be deferred by one year;
•	Unincorporated businesses who need to comply with Quarterly reporting from (per the
consultations) April 2018; and
•	Limited companies (later compliance).
You could focus on clients in order of MTD quarterly filing dates and dissect this into your order
of contact. You may decide to go for larger businesses first or even start ups or new businesses.
Either way, work out a weekly programme for sending an email and letter with a flyer about
your offering (your software provider will assist with the flyer) and follow up with a telephone
call to book a demo. So you may target 5 clients per week with the aim of converting 2/3 after
the demo. Some weeks this will be higher and some lower but your aim is to demo your cloud
offering to all businesses over a 12-month period.
100% Cloud – Your Action Plan for Success
18 © 2020 Innovation Training Limited 2017
QuickBooks Connect London 2017
An example flyer may look like the one below. This also has pricing on a monthly basis so clients
can clearly see their options:
The pricing of Cloud Accounting services is not covered in this session but you can see the layout
and how you should price from the example below.
100% Cloud – Your Action Plan for Success
19© 2020 Innovation Training Limited 2017
QuickBooks Connect London 2017
Your demo must be with the business owners — not just the bookkeeper. They make the
important decisions and their bookkeeper may have alternative view and worries about their
role. Of course, in some cases you will need to get them on side as part of the decision making
process. You know your clients and can make appropriate judgements.
100% Cloud – Your Action Plan for Success
20 © 2020 Innovation Training Limited 2017
QuickBooks Connect London 2017
So To Recap:
1.	 Send your offering to all business owners;
2.	 Analyse your client database;
3.	 Prioritise and contact 5–10 per week;
4.	 Follow up with a telephone call;
5.	 Do the demo; and
6.	 Convert the client.
Example (e)mailing for a blanket approach
Dear John,
Do you want to reduce your running costs and streamline your accounting?
We’ve been working with a number of our clients to help them streamline the way they do
their accounts.
Just suppose you:
•	Had a system where your bank fed your data directly into your accounts on a DAILY basis;
•	Took a photo on your phone of a purchase invoice and it was posted automatically;
•	Could see your results, who owes you money, who you owe and your business bank balance
24/7, 365 from your smart phone.
Interested?
Announcing our new exclusive cloud accounting packages for imaginative business owners like
you, so if you would like:
•	A clear picture of your current financial position, in real-time;
•	Automatic updates that mean you can spend more time doing what you enjoy;
•	Your accounts 100% online, so there’s no software to install and everything is backed up
automatically. Updates are free and instantly available;
•	Upfront accounting software costs eliminated — upgrades, maintenance, system administration
costs and server failures are no longer an issue.
Then let’s talk! Call me to arrange a demo on 0121 314 2020.
Not convinced?
See our 10 minute webinar Moving Your Accounts to the Cloud in which we outline the benefits of
the cloud and the new way innovative and profitable firms are now working.
LINK HERE — (remove if no video)
I look forward to helping your business move onto a different level!
Best wishes
P.S. You are going to love this new way of doing things. See what some of our clients who have
made the move say!
Link to testimonials and webinar demo and book a live demo on your web page.
100% Cloud – Your Action Plan for Success
21© 2020 Innovation Training Limited 2017
QuickBooks Connect London 2017
The above is just an example — research all the major software suppliers web pages and you will
see all the benefits listed and tailor your own letters from the research. Remove the text on the
video if you do not wish to do these or have insufficient time.
Example Targeted email
Dear John,
YOUR ACCOUNTING SOFTWARE
Over the last 10 years you’ve been using xxxxx desktop software and paying out every year for
support and license fees.
We’ve noticed an increasing number of problems with this outdated way of doing things:
•	The data in the system isn’t up to date;
•	Every year we play “ping pong” with emails and a USB drive. This is not secure or reliable;
•	Your bookkeeper is the main user AND you can’t access financial and customer details 24/7;
•	It’s costly and complicated to keep backups; and
•	It’s expensive, difficult and time consuming to upgrade the software.
•	So how about we looked at a different way of doing things, where you:
•	Had a system where your bank fed your data directly into your accounts on a DAILY basis;
•	Took a photo on your phone of a purchase invoice and it was posted automatically;
•	Could see your results, who owes you money, who you owe and your business bank balance
24/7, 365 from your smart phone; and
•	Reduce upfront business costs are reduced — version upgrades, maintenance, system
administration costs and server failures are no longer issues.
Interested?
See our 10-minute webinar Moving Your Accounts to the Cloud where we outline the benefits of
the cloud and the new way innovative and profitable firms are now working.
LINK HERE — (remove if no video)
I have also asked Mandy to call you to book a time for me to pop over and give you a 30-minute
demo of how we can move your business forward.
Best wishes
P.S. You are going to love this new way of doing things. See what some of our clients who have
made the move say!
Link to testimonials and webinar demo and book a live demo on your web page, or remove the
text and link if you do not have a video.
Follow Up Telephone Script for Making An Appointment for a Demo
Tailor this to your own firm’s circumstances:
“Hello this is Mandy Smith from 2020 Accountants, I’m following up Ian’s email about our new and
exciting accounting software solutions. Ian’s asked me to give you a call to book a time when he
can come over for half an hour and show you how it will benefit your business. When would be a
good time to book a time?”
100% Cloud – Your Action Plan for Success
22 © 2020 Innovation Training Limited 2017
QuickBooks Connect London 2017
OR
“Good morning Mr. Smith, this is Mandy calling from 2020 Accountants. Ian has asked me to
follow up on his email to you about the new accounting system we are introducing to all our
clients. It’s just so much more efficient and he wanted to pop over and show you exactly how
it works and how much better and easier it is for you — I have Ian’s diary so how are you fixed
maybe next week sometime?”
Planning Your Push Campaign
Use a marketing planner to lay out your action plan for converting clients to the cloud over the
next 12 months.
100% Cloud – Your Action Plan for Success
23© 2020 Innovation Training Limited 2017
QuickBooks Connect London 2017
PUSH MARKETING ACTION POINTS
Take some time to note down what you are going to do differently.
100% Cloud – Your Action Plan for Success
24 © 2020 Innovation Training Limited 2017
QuickBooks Connect London 2017
Monitoring Your Results
Marketing to and converting clients onto the cloud is not a science. It is sometimes trial and error.
You have to be flexible in your approach and what works one month might not do so the next.
Once you’ve set your conversion targets, done your general campaign and have moved into
specific targeting of your client base, make sure you measure actual conversions against budget
and hold yourselves accountable and be prepared to be flexible.
Something simple will work:
1.	 Summary of social media posts and blogs this month
2.	 Summary of website changes
3.	 Number of specific letters, flyers, emails sent
4.	 Number of online and real time demos done
5.	 Number of clients converted and percentage of emails and percentage of demos.
This gives you the KPIs to monitor and adjust your path and keep focussed on your goals.
Add to or adjust these as you feel necessary.
Summary
The territory we operate on as accountants is changing. There is probably a 3 year time frame
to keep ahead of the market and the opportunity to convert clients to a faster and easier
methodology of doing accounts. There is scope for you to branch out into business advisory
services and develop your accounting practice by taking advantage of the cloud revolution.
Remember “the map is not the territory” so be prepared to be more flexible with your planning
than ever before.
Train and certify your team in cloud software. Embrace social media and allocate resources to
your website and direct mail campaigns. You will be successful!
Key Action Points
Take some time to note down the KEY actions you MUST take to remove the barriers that once
held you back.

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100 percent cloud your action plan for success

  • 1. 100% Cloud – Your Action Plan for Success 1© 2020 Innovation Training Limited 2017 QuickBooks Connect London 2017 100% Cloud — Your Action Plan For Success Ian Fletcher Managing Director, 2020 Innovation QuickBooks Connect London 6–7March 2017
  • 2. 100% Cloud – Your Action Plan for Success 2 © 2020 Innovation Training Limited 2017 QuickBooks Connect London 2017 Disclaimer and Copyright This paper should not be relied upon as comprehensive guidance but as a reminder of the key points of marketing cloud accounting services. It is written for accountants to help their clients understand their choices and to provide marketing guidance. No responsibility for loss occasioned to any person acting or refraining from action as a result of the material in this document can be accepted by the author or 2020 Innovation Training Limited. This material is the copyright 2020 Innovation Training Limited and must not be used or released without our express advance written permission. Trademarks © 2017 Intuit, Inc. All rights reserved. Intuit, the Intuit logo, Intuit ProLine, Lacerte, ProAdvisor, ProSeries and QuickBooks, among others, are trademarks or registered trademarks of Intuit, Inc. in the United States and other countries. Other parties’ marks are the property of their respective owners. Notice to Readers The publications distributed by Intuit, Inc. are intended to assist accounting professionals in their practices by providing current and accurate information. However, no assurance is given that the information is comprehensive in its coverage or that it is suitable in dealing with a client’s particular situation. Accordingly, the information provided should not be relied upon as a substitute for independent research. Intuit, Inc. does not render any accounting, legal or other professional advice, nor does it have any responsibility for updating or revising any information presented herein. Intuit, Inc. cannot warrant that the material contained herein will continue to be accurate nor that it is completely free of errors when published. Readers should verify statements before relying on them.
  • 3. 100% Cloud – Your Action Plan for Success 3© 2020 Innovation Training Limited 2017 QuickBooks Connect London 2017 About Your Presenter Ian Fletcher, FCA FCCA Managing Director 2020 Innovation Training Ltd Ian Fletcher is a Chartered Accountant having trained at the London office of a “Big 4” international practice. A well-known lecturer and business consultant, he has gained a reputation for his entertaining style and practical approach to practice management. Ian majors in management issues, specifically dealing with the systemisation of accounting practices. He is the co-author of books on business consulting and adding value.
  • 4. 100% Cloud – Your Action Plan for Success 4 © 2020 Innovation Training Limited 2017 QuickBooks Connect London 2017 100% Cloud — Your Action Plan For Success The benefits of moving your clients to cloud accounting software can be enormous: • Having data in real time means faster compliance and more scope for business advice; • Complying with Making Tax Digital requirements will be relatively straightforward; • Clients like the fact they can see their financials on their mobile 24/7; • You attract and retain younger people who now expect a high level of technology; • Systemised and tech driven accounting firms are more attractive to potential clients; and • The capital value of a cloud accounting firm is significantly higher than a traditional practice. Just suppose… Your people could handle more clients in less time, technology worked for you with time and profit wins, high-value new clients were attracted to you, brand and reputation increased and your firm was less reliant on you? Make sense? Let’s get started… In this guide we will show you how to move existing clients and to attract potential clients to your firm by marketing activities surrounding their accounting function. Your objective is to get 100% of your clients onto the Cloud. For those clients who cannot move you may choose to act as a “Digital Buffer” between them and HMRC. Introduction The market for cloud accounting packages has matured significantly in the last 2 years. There are now many software providers offering a variety of products. This guide is not concerned with the pros and cons of one provider over another; it’s about moving your clients away from a desktop package, manual books or spreadsheets and onto the cloud. In 2015 HMRC issued a paper, Making Tax Digital see: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/ system/uploads/attachment_data/file/484668/making-tax-digital.pdf Further consultations were issued in August 2016, proposals outlined on the 31 January and draft legislation is planned for the March 2017 Budget. By 2020 HMRC aim to have a fully digital tax system. This is going to have serious ramifications to the way we work and to the way clients have to interact with HMRC. We are now seeing digital reporting and digital tax accounts becoming a reality. So we’ve got a 3-year time frame to move our clients from desktop to the cloud. Even if the dates get pushed back a year there is no excuse for not getting our clients ready for Digital Tax.
  • 5. 100% Cloud – Your Action Plan for Success 5© 2020 Innovation Training Limited 2017 QuickBooks Connect London 2017 The Big Issues Our industry is changing rapidly: We are seeing a large number of new start-ups who are competing with traditional accountants for smaller clients. Many of these new firms are entirely cloud based. New Apps that integrate with Cloud accounting software mean the collection, processing and output of data is now effectively paperless and the processing is automatic. 3 out of “Big 4” are now competing directly with independent firms for our SME clients using cloud accounting as their leading service line. We are seeing significant changes to the way firms organise themselves and prepare management and final accounts as a result of cloud accounting. With online accounting, firms can decide when they want to produce their clients’ monthly, quarterly or year-end accounts. This changes the dynamics of work loads and stops time wasting, and the sometimes irritating efforts of chasing clients. Firms are seeing significant savings in the time needed for the processes with 3 resulting consequences 1. Reduced fee quotes for client’s compliance work; 2. Opportunity to offer book keeping support at very competitive prices; and 3. More time available to offer business advice to clients. The drive to move to a subscription based cloud accounting package is coming from accountancy firms and also from the software providers themselves, direct to the market. Business owners are now making the software choice themselves. So if some of your clients will choose their own software direct and expect you to work with it, other clients will need your advice. Some clients will not want to change and you will need to consider whether these meet your criteria and, in some cases, you may choose to let them go elsewhere. Someone said once: “We’ve got to stop letting the tail wag the dog!”. (Anon.) The market will become increasingly fluid over the next few years and only those firms that embrace the cloud and the changes it brings will be able to maintain profits and move away from traditional compliance based services and into the business advisory market. Firms that do not change will be left “chasing shadows”.
  • 6. 100% Cloud – Your Action Plan for Success 6 © 2020 Innovation Training Limited 2017 QuickBooks Connect London 2017 What are your BIG issues right now? Take a few moments to note them down and what you need to do to remove the barriers to change.
  • 7. 100% Cloud – Your Action Plan for Success 7© 2020 Innovation Training Limited 2017 QuickBooks Connect London 2017 Training Before we undertake a change programme for moving clients to the cloud, it’s a good idea to get your team certified in your chosen software or with a variety of providers. 2020 are of the view that all fee earners should be certified in a variety of software rather than one alone because some clients will be making their own choices and not all will rely, or indeed like, your choice. So, set a programme up to train and certify your fee earners, most will enjoy a new challenge! Additionally, many providers (Intuit especially) give you additional benefits for being certified — like marketing your firm to small businesses who need accountants, and who use the same software. The reason behind this certification is to ensure your existing and potential clients understand you are cloud accounting specialists. This is a powerful message when we come to marketing. Ensure your web site states you are certified in cloud accounting and put the logos of the software providers on your page. Having your fee earners trained and certified in the major providers’ software is a useful marketing tool, as well as an essential element in making the accounting processes as efficient as possible in your firm. By training all fee earners you will also remove much of the resistance to change and should be able to achieve your goals a little more easily. Strategy We’ve advised many firms on the steps needed to manage the change from desktop to cloud and the key item on every agenda is strategy. Take time to outline where you want to be in 3 years’ time and what your practice will look like after you’ve made the changes, ask: What will our practice look like in 3 years when we have moved our existing clients to the cloud? • Turnover; • Number of clients; • Type of clients; • Staffing levels and training; • Overheads; and • Profit What changes in the way we do things need to be made immediately and then over the next 3 years? • What is our action plan to make these changes? • What budget and resources do we need to make the changes? • How are we going to monitor our progress? Once you’ve got a strategy you can plan to make the changes. Some of these changes are fundamental and go against the grain of many traditional time sheet based practices. Two key changes will be a move towards monthly (or quarterly) billing and the fixed pricing of services.
  • 8. 100% Cloud – Your Action Plan for Success 8 © 2020 Innovation Training Limited 2017 QuickBooks Connect London 2017 Immediate Action Plan For 100% Cloud 1. Set out a vision of what your practice will look like in 3 years’ time; 2. Get all your fee earners certified in Cloud accounting software; 3. Put your own accounts on a cloud accounting package, become an advocate; 4. Have a set of accounts you can use for demos to clients on your mobile / tablet; 5. Hold a meeting to discuss and ensure all fee earners understand there will be changes in the way they bill, prepare accounts, file data and deal with clients; 6. Research how apps could help with the input of data; 7. Be aware that technology will adapt over the next 2–3 years to accommodate digital tax and keep a flexible approach to the apps and software you currently use and could be using. For example, think about “best of breed” as opposed to current “all in one” practice management software; and 8. Write an education and marketing plan to convert your clients to the Cloud. NOTES: What immediate actions are you taking to remove the barriers that once held you back?
  • 9. 100% Cloud – Your Action Plan for Success 9© 2020 Innovation Training Limited 2017 QuickBooks Connect London 2017 NOTES (cont’d.): What immediate actions are you taking to remove the barriers that once held you back?
  • 10. 100% Cloud – Your Action Plan for Success 10 © 2020 Innovation Training Limited 2017 QuickBooks Connect London 2017 Marketing Plan and Material Your chosen cloud providers will provide much of the flyers and copy you need to push and pull market your services to business owners. Other content can be researched easily from the internet. Essential Marketing Activities for Moving Existing Clients to the Cloud So we’ve set the strategy and started training the team. The first step is to educate clients on the benefits of cloud accounting software, the second is to demo your solutions and to then close the deal! Research and database There are 2 ways to market cloud accounting — specifically to those clients who are not yet using it and a general “scattergun” approach to existing and potential clients. For pull marketing (social media) you will be using the latter and you can do so for push (email, newsletter, letter) also but specific targeted push (e)mailings give better results. So consider whether you should look through your client database and identify the accounting package your clients are currently using and avoid marketing to those already converted to the cloud. Two Marketing Plans Once you created your list of clients (from above), you will need to prepare 2 marketing plans. 1. Social media and web activities to show potential clients the benefits of moving to the cloud and explain your expertise in this area; and 2. Push direct (e)mailings and newsletters (push) to specific existing clients including (telephone follow up to existing and potential clients). Social Media Marketing Plan The purpose of this plan is to identify your firm as a specialist in cloud accounting and to relentlessly educate business owners of the need to, and benefits of moving to the cloud. This guide is intended as a reminder of the basics of Social Media. It is intended to help firms refocus and reinvent themselves in this area and as such is a checklist and not a “How to” guide of which there are many available. Introduction So let’s gets started. In order of priority and marketing spend, social media comes after a Formal Referrals system, “Push” (direct emails, newsletters and letters) marketing and an up to date and interactive website. So allocate resources accordingly. As a benchmark the most profitable firms spend more than 3% of their Gross recurring fees on marketing. For smaller firms it is about letting clients and prospects know you exist, are relevant and forward thinking. Specifically, in today’s business environment, this means giving information about Cloud Accounting, Digital Tax, Auto Enrolment and how you can help businesses grow and prosper with your services. The key element to a successful social media programme is being regular and consistent in your message and this involves daily activity.
  • 11. 100% Cloud – Your Action Plan for Success 11© 2020 Innovation Training Limited 2017 QuickBooks Connect London 2017 We recommend your social media activities should take around 1 hour per day or 5 hours per week. Fee earners are responsible for providing 50% of the content from simple case studies and client testimonials, personal achievements, exams, charity work etc. Social media should be done by a younger member of the team or a non-fee earner. 25% of the content should come from retweets and 25% on technical (tax, technology, HR, finance, Government and general business matters). This is just a guide and you should be able to generate most of your messages internally. In order of priority you should be on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook. You should have software to pre plan your weekly activity and automate the tweets or posts, such as Hootsuite. This type of application makes social media a lot easier to manage. Checklist of Social Media Activities 1. Follow / Connect to: all your clients and prospects. They should follow back and you have “built your audience”! Retweet / share as appropriate. 2. Follow / Connect to: a. Government (HMRC) b. Professional bodies (ICAEW, ICAS, ACCA, Law Society) c. Business organisations (IOD, FSB, Chambers of commerce, Pensions Regulator) and Trade Associations These often provide research and statistics which can be retweeted or shared. A list of professional associations can be found on Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ List_of_professional_associations_in_the_United_Kingdom 3. Follow your cloud accounting and other software providers. Their content is very relevant if you are converting clients from desktop to digital. Retweet/share as appropriate. 4. Every time a fee earner does something positive in their work e.g. converts a client to the cloud, saves tax, spots an opportunity, get them to let you know and (with the client’s permission) or anonymously, post a short summary and/or a testimonial. Every time an individual or the firm achieves something or does something for the community share this. These do not have to be detailed: “(Jim Smith) of (Triple A Taxis) has moved his accounting package to the cloud. We helped him make the move seamlessly and now he can see his figures 24/7 365 on his smart phone! Jim says “I can’t believe what a difference this has made to my business”. Contact us if you want to move onto the next generation business revolution!” (you might keep this anonymous) and: “Yet another business moves to xxxxx cloud accounting package. We’ve done it again! Our client, a [insert type of business] has seen the benefits of [invoices that send and chase themselves, hassle free expense tracking on their phone, automatic bank feeds etc. etc. Insert and rotate regularly] If you haven’t seen the light yet contact us!” Always add @twitter, @instagram etc. handle for your software provider. That way, the provider should retweet giving you even more exposure. 5. Ensure your fee earners retweet/repost the firm’s tweets/posts. This shows their commitment to your firm and will help your firm reach out beyond existing clients and prospects.
  • 12. 100% Cloud – Your Action Plan for Success 12 © 2020 Innovation Training Limited 2017 QuickBooks Connect London 2017 6. Link posts back to your web site if you are offering a free demo or consultation, a place where readers can email you directly for more information. Follow up with a phone call to book an appointment. 7. Monitor your results weekly and evaluate success or change your methodology: a. Number of followers, connections and likes; a. Number of tweets and posts; a. Retweets / Shares; a. Number of demos / consultations requested as a result of social media activity; and a. New businesses as clients / work done as a result of the activities. 8. Be relentless in your approach to Social Media. Reaching out to clients and prospects means a strict daily routine and the discipline to make it happen. Relentless Means Relentless! Some further examples of tweets / posts: -–- Wow — hassle-free payroll! Save time by sending payslips by email and filing information (RTI) with HMRC. Want to know more? Contact us! -–- See your accounts anywhere you’ve got internet or phone reception with our new online accounting software. Call us for a free demo! -–- Fed up with your annual subscription for your accounting software? Talk to us about monthly subscription based software. -–- Get a clear view of your financial position anytime, any place! -–- Never do back-ups of your accounting software ever again! -–- Run your business from work, home or on the go. -–- Automatically generate and submit your VAT return with one click. The list goes on! If you need inspiration, look at the major cloud software providers’ web sites. So a typical daily post / blog plan would be: 1. Testimonial; 2. Benefits message; and 3. Case study / benefits message
  • 13. 100% Cloud – Your Action Plan for Success 13© 2020 Innovation Training Limited 2017 QuickBooks Connect London 2017 SOCIAL MEDIA ACTION POINTS Take some time to note down what you are going to do differently.
  • 14. 100% Cloud – Your Action Plan for Success 14 © 2020 Innovation Training Limited 2017 QuickBooks Connect London 2017 Website Many firms have what we describe as “an online brochure”. There is no “stickiness” or reason to revisit the page so update it weekly as a minimum with new case studies and testimonials. Use video as well as text if you can. We prefer twice weekly updates but it’s a matter of time and resources. Create a video with your voice and slide show with Adobe Spark: www.spark.adobe.com. Record a 10 minute webinar or series of webinars about the features of the apps and cloud accounting packages. Use www.gotomeeting.com which is run by Citrix and has plenty of online training to get you up and running. Post these webinars on your site with intriguing titles based on pains that customers are feeling. Whatever you think about your website, focus on cloud accounting software and the benefits of changing from desktop. Your software provider(s) will give you content and in some cases help you with video and other material. Ask them — they will be more than accommodating. Additionally, take a critical look at the text you are using on your website. Is it all about “we” (meaning your firm) or, is it about “you” (meaning the client). It should be all about the benefits that “you” the client, will receive by working with “us” (the firm). A quick count of the number of times you use the word “we” versus the word “you” on your website, will tell you what you need to change. “By working with Firm XXX, YOU will receive” (benefits). Allocate sufficient resources to getting and keeping your site modern and distinctive. Direct your social media activities to your website and specifically to your cloud accounting benefits and “book a demo / meeting” web page. Allocate a daily routine for updating the website, consider a Twitter feed on the front page, add content 2–3 times per week. This should take 1 hour per day of your marketing persons’ time. Train your marketing person on Word Press (or similar) so they can change the content of the site easily. It is best to do this part of your business rather than use an outside web master as you will have more control and will be able to make the changes much faster. We’ve learnt from top accountants not to complicate your website and stay on message! If you do not have the resources or appetite to change your main web site then consider a Micro site (one page) specifically to host case studies and your blogs with a “Click for free demo” button so prospects can contact you and you can call to arrange the demo.
  • 15. 100% Cloud – Your Action Plan for Success 15© 2020 Innovation Training Limited 2017 QuickBooks Connect London 2017 Below is part of the micro site we’ve written: This is deliberately simple and designed purely hold blogs and the link for a demo. WEB SITE ACTION POINTS: Take some time to note down what you are going to do differently.
  • 16. 100% Cloud – Your Action Plan for Success 16 © 2020 Innovation Training Limited 2017 QuickBooks Connect London 2017 WEB SITE ACTION POINTS (cont’d.): Take some time to note down what you are going to do differently.
  • 17. 100% Cloud – Your Action Plan for Success 17© 2020 Innovation Training Limited 2017 QuickBooks Connect London 2017 Direct (e)Mail and Brochure Campaigns In our view, push marketing by email, letter and newsletter works best with telephone follow up and a script to get a date to do a live demo at the clients’ premises or remotely. On the subject of communicating with clients, our client satisfaction surveys show that 58% like to receive an email, only 6% prefer to visit the website and 36% prefer a newsletter. Interestingly 30% want to hear from their accountant once a month, 20% only when relevant and 50% quarterly. So What Should You Plan To Do? We recommend a monthly tax newsletter to all clients, a quarterly general printed newsletter and emails or letters when you have some important news. Now here’s the important part. You need to use targeted push marketing after a general email to all clients. The monthly tax and quarterly general newsletter are fine but they are sent out for general awareness and not specifically at a targeted audience. To start the process there is nothing wrong with a “blanket” approach of letter and flyer to all clients “announcing our new accounting service” type approach, but thereafter it needs to be a systemised and targeted approach. So if you are going to push cloud accounting then you need to target specific businesses and prioritise the order in which you do the mailings. After all, doing the demos and converting clients takes time and you don’t want to book 25 appointments in a week for one person, it’s just not possible. So analyse your bank of accounting clients on a spreadsheet and note their current version of the accounting package they use. If we focus on Making Tax Digital ( MTD) then we should organise our client portfolio into the following categories: • Exempt from Digital tax; • Unincorporated businesses which are small and in the category to be deferred by one year; • Unincorporated businesses who need to comply with Quarterly reporting from (per the consultations) April 2018; and • Limited companies (later compliance). You could focus on clients in order of MTD quarterly filing dates and dissect this into your order of contact. You may decide to go for larger businesses first or even start ups or new businesses. Either way, work out a weekly programme for sending an email and letter with a flyer about your offering (your software provider will assist with the flyer) and follow up with a telephone call to book a demo. So you may target 5 clients per week with the aim of converting 2/3 after the demo. Some weeks this will be higher and some lower but your aim is to demo your cloud offering to all businesses over a 12-month period.
  • 18. 100% Cloud – Your Action Plan for Success 18 © 2020 Innovation Training Limited 2017 QuickBooks Connect London 2017 An example flyer may look like the one below. This also has pricing on a monthly basis so clients can clearly see their options: The pricing of Cloud Accounting services is not covered in this session but you can see the layout and how you should price from the example below.
  • 19. 100% Cloud – Your Action Plan for Success 19© 2020 Innovation Training Limited 2017 QuickBooks Connect London 2017 Your demo must be with the business owners — not just the bookkeeper. They make the important decisions and their bookkeeper may have alternative view and worries about their role. Of course, in some cases you will need to get them on side as part of the decision making process. You know your clients and can make appropriate judgements.
  • 20. 100% Cloud – Your Action Plan for Success 20 © 2020 Innovation Training Limited 2017 QuickBooks Connect London 2017 So To Recap: 1. Send your offering to all business owners; 2. Analyse your client database; 3. Prioritise and contact 5–10 per week; 4. Follow up with a telephone call; 5. Do the demo; and 6. Convert the client. Example (e)mailing for a blanket approach Dear John, Do you want to reduce your running costs and streamline your accounting? We’ve been working with a number of our clients to help them streamline the way they do their accounts. Just suppose you: • Had a system where your bank fed your data directly into your accounts on a DAILY basis; • Took a photo on your phone of a purchase invoice and it was posted automatically; • Could see your results, who owes you money, who you owe and your business bank balance 24/7, 365 from your smart phone. Interested? Announcing our new exclusive cloud accounting packages for imaginative business owners like you, so if you would like: • A clear picture of your current financial position, in real-time; • Automatic updates that mean you can spend more time doing what you enjoy; • Your accounts 100% online, so there’s no software to install and everything is backed up automatically. Updates are free and instantly available; • Upfront accounting software costs eliminated — upgrades, maintenance, system administration costs and server failures are no longer an issue. Then let’s talk! Call me to arrange a demo on 0121 314 2020. Not convinced? See our 10 minute webinar Moving Your Accounts to the Cloud in which we outline the benefits of the cloud and the new way innovative and profitable firms are now working. LINK HERE — (remove if no video) I look forward to helping your business move onto a different level! Best wishes P.S. You are going to love this new way of doing things. See what some of our clients who have made the move say! Link to testimonials and webinar demo and book a live demo on your web page.
  • 21. 100% Cloud – Your Action Plan for Success 21© 2020 Innovation Training Limited 2017 QuickBooks Connect London 2017 The above is just an example — research all the major software suppliers web pages and you will see all the benefits listed and tailor your own letters from the research. Remove the text on the video if you do not wish to do these or have insufficient time. Example Targeted email Dear John, YOUR ACCOUNTING SOFTWARE Over the last 10 years you’ve been using xxxxx desktop software and paying out every year for support and license fees. We’ve noticed an increasing number of problems with this outdated way of doing things: • The data in the system isn’t up to date; • Every year we play “ping pong” with emails and a USB drive. This is not secure or reliable; • Your bookkeeper is the main user AND you can’t access financial and customer details 24/7; • It’s costly and complicated to keep backups; and • It’s expensive, difficult and time consuming to upgrade the software. • So how about we looked at a different way of doing things, where you: • Had a system where your bank fed your data directly into your accounts on a DAILY basis; • Took a photo on your phone of a purchase invoice and it was posted automatically; • Could see your results, who owes you money, who you owe and your business bank balance 24/7, 365 from your smart phone; and • Reduce upfront business costs are reduced — version upgrades, maintenance, system administration costs and server failures are no longer issues. Interested? See our 10-minute webinar Moving Your Accounts to the Cloud where we outline the benefits of the cloud and the new way innovative and profitable firms are now working. LINK HERE — (remove if no video) I have also asked Mandy to call you to book a time for me to pop over and give you a 30-minute demo of how we can move your business forward. Best wishes P.S. You are going to love this new way of doing things. See what some of our clients who have made the move say! Link to testimonials and webinar demo and book a live demo on your web page, or remove the text and link if you do not have a video. Follow Up Telephone Script for Making An Appointment for a Demo Tailor this to your own firm’s circumstances: “Hello this is Mandy Smith from 2020 Accountants, I’m following up Ian’s email about our new and exciting accounting software solutions. Ian’s asked me to give you a call to book a time when he can come over for half an hour and show you how it will benefit your business. When would be a good time to book a time?”
  • 22. 100% Cloud – Your Action Plan for Success 22 © 2020 Innovation Training Limited 2017 QuickBooks Connect London 2017 OR “Good morning Mr. Smith, this is Mandy calling from 2020 Accountants. Ian has asked me to follow up on his email to you about the new accounting system we are introducing to all our clients. It’s just so much more efficient and he wanted to pop over and show you exactly how it works and how much better and easier it is for you — I have Ian’s diary so how are you fixed maybe next week sometime?” Planning Your Push Campaign Use a marketing planner to lay out your action plan for converting clients to the cloud over the next 12 months.
  • 23. 100% Cloud – Your Action Plan for Success 23© 2020 Innovation Training Limited 2017 QuickBooks Connect London 2017 PUSH MARKETING ACTION POINTS Take some time to note down what you are going to do differently.
  • 24. 100% Cloud – Your Action Plan for Success 24 © 2020 Innovation Training Limited 2017 QuickBooks Connect London 2017 Monitoring Your Results Marketing to and converting clients onto the cloud is not a science. It is sometimes trial and error. You have to be flexible in your approach and what works one month might not do so the next. Once you’ve set your conversion targets, done your general campaign and have moved into specific targeting of your client base, make sure you measure actual conversions against budget and hold yourselves accountable and be prepared to be flexible. Something simple will work: 1. Summary of social media posts and blogs this month 2. Summary of website changes 3. Number of specific letters, flyers, emails sent 4. Number of online and real time demos done 5. Number of clients converted and percentage of emails and percentage of demos. This gives you the KPIs to monitor and adjust your path and keep focussed on your goals. Add to or adjust these as you feel necessary. Summary The territory we operate on as accountants is changing. There is probably a 3 year time frame to keep ahead of the market and the opportunity to convert clients to a faster and easier methodology of doing accounts. There is scope for you to branch out into business advisory services and develop your accounting practice by taking advantage of the cloud revolution. Remember “the map is not the territory” so be prepared to be more flexible with your planning than ever before. Train and certify your team in cloud software. Embrace social media and allocate resources to your website and direct mail campaigns. You will be successful! Key Action Points Take some time to note down the KEY actions you MUST take to remove the barriers that once held you back.