Clay & Shane - Top 5 Pain Points of Small and Medium Sized Accounting Firms

Shane has talked to 1000s of CPAs as we have grown. He walks us through the top 5 issues he hears about when someone signs up for a call with him.

0:01 hey everybody this is Clay here with
0:04 firm 360. um I'm joined with Shane today
0:06 he's our director of sales
0:08 um today we're going to talk about the
0:10 top five pain points that we've heard
0:12 from small medium-sized accounting firms
0:14 um Shane you've talked to thousands of
0:16 CPAs in the last two years
0:18 um tell me just to start with what's
0:21 your favorite part about being on on the
0:22 firm 360 team
0:24 yeah hey everybody uh great question so
0:28 what do you think of a team you know I'm
0:30 a sports guy I've played Sports my whole
0:32 life and I've always been part of teams
0:34 and that's exactly what we have here for
0:35 M360 is is we're a team we're a family
0:38 and just working with with you guys on a
0:42 day-to-day basis
0:43 um it has been really a positive
0:46 influence on on my life and and I would
0:49 say that's probably the the best part of
0:51 being as a part of the The Firm 360 team
0:53 awesome I I feel the same way I you know
0:56 I've really enjoyed working with you and
0:58 everybody else um okay so as Shane last
1:01 week to send me the top five problems
1:03 that he hears on his calls um from
1:05 accounting firms looking for something
1:07 to change
1:08 um jumping right in the first thing is
1:11 uh
1:13 project management
1:16 yeah correct but when when most
1:19 accounting firms think of practice
1:21 management project management is is
1:25 typically right at the top of the list
1:26 that they associate practice management
1:29 with project management
1:31 organizing your workflow knowing what
1:33 work is a lot of accounting firms
1:37 go through that that same pain point
1:39 where if if they're working on a project
1:41 for a client they don't know who is
1:44 working on what
1:45 um which team member has has done what
1:48 for that project what step it's in what
1:50 status it's in work tends to fall
1:53 through the cracks and deadlines are are
1:56 pretty consistently missed just because
1:58 there's no overview from maybe a
2:02 partner's perspective of of where the
2:04 projects are at who's working on what
2:06 what's been done and that seems to be a
2:09 huge pain point when it comes to
2:11 speaking with with accounting firms yeah
2:14 awesome yeah when um you're one or two
2:17 people you can kind of just get away
2:19 with a Post-It note right but yeah like
2:21 maybe you go to a spreadsheet but when
2:23 you start having five people
2:25 um you just you gotta get organized
2:27 um so yeah so a lot of people are
2:29 communicating in in a one-person office
2:31 it's different than than when you have a
2:34 you know a small mid-sized team and
2:36 you're trying to get an overview of
2:37 everybody on your team yeah yeah awesome
2:39 okay uh the second one I have here is
2:42 document management what's what's the
2:44 deal there
2:45 yeah so document management a lot of
2:48 people have
2:50 a lot of accounting firms have tons of
2:53 different ways that they store documents
2:55 and send documents to and from clients
2:57 securely
2:59 um I would say eight out of ten nine out
3:01 of 10 times those are compiled of
3:03 different softwares so meaning they use
3:06 one software to store their documents
3:07 they use a separate software to send and
3:09 receive documents another software to do
3:12 their e-signatures so it's just a it's
3:15 just a disjointed system of of storing
3:18 documents and sending and receiving
3:20 a lot of people I talk to don't even
3:23 mention it as a as necessarily a pain
3:25 point that they know about it they know
3:27 about until I dive into it and say well
3:30 does it make sense to have your document
3:32 stored here but then you have to upload
3:34 it and drag it here to be able to send
3:36 it securely for a signature why not just
3:40 have it all in one place and make it
3:41 easier for your team more consistent and
3:45 have it right there tied to the client
3:47 tied to the project when you need it you
3:49 go in and it's there
3:51 awesome yeah story time I um when we
3:55 were doing talking to people during
3:56 covid in 2020 we had actual firms sign
4:00 up with us that said during tax season
4:02 they would drive into the office put
4:05 down a box of paper pick up a different
4:06 box of paper and then drive home with it
4:08 so they could work from home and we're
4:10 like no there's a better way you can't
4:13 do that anymore so I I remember that I
4:16 remember that it's awesome okay um let's
4:19 talk about time and building next
4:23 yeah
4:24 um
4:25 so same thing another software firms
4:29 tend to either have Excel spreadsheets
4:32 or manual time entries or they're
4:35 jotting down their time that they come
4:37 in and then at the end of the week
4:38 they're having to input it and send it
4:40 over to a manager
4:42 um not necessarily tied to a specific
4:44 project
4:46 I had
4:48 I have one team one firm that is doing
4:52 exactly that each employee was having to
4:54 write down their own time
4:55 at the end of the week they had to
4:57 submit their hours
4:58 the the manager had to
5:01 pull it from a spreadsheet compare it to
5:05 all the projects that they worked on
5:07 that week to create the invoices and it
5:10 just seems like
5:12 way more tedious work than than what you
5:14 have to do as far as time entry and
5:16 billing yeah yeah I um I feel like we
5:19 talked to a bunch of people the the
5:21 partners they're growing their business
5:23 they've got seven or eight employees
5:25 there's two part two or three Partners
5:26 they have started figuring out how to
5:29 delegate the tax returns they figure out
5:31 how to delegate the bookkeeping then
5:33 every month all three of them would get
5:35 on a zoom call for like two hours and do
5:38 building together and I'm like this is
5:40 the most expensive thing you do like how
5:42 do we make this better and so that's one
5:44 of the things they tried spent a lot of
5:46 effort getting getting right so that you
5:49 don't have to waste too much time on
5:52 billing every month
5:53 yeah three Partners on a two-hour call
5:57 me can't be cheap
5:59 it's huge okay so um the next thing I
6:02 have here is around client
6:04 Communications
6:06 yeah yeah so
6:08 um I I typically refer to that as client
6:10 management but the communications is
6:12 within that and a lot of times a client
6:16 can call in a receptionist an admin
6:19 somebody could answer the phone the
6:21 client says hey what's going on with
6:24 with my tax return what's going on with
6:26 this and they don't know who'd spoken to
6:30 the client already they don't know where
6:31 the Project's at they don't know if the
6:34 documents are uploaded to the portal
6:35 they don't know if it's been signed the
6:37 839 has been signed yet or not and
6:40 there's there's no communication with
6:44 the client but also within the team so
6:46 there's that again there's a disconnect
6:49 on kind of communicating from A team's
6:52 perspective with a client to know what's
6:54 been done where things are at and and
6:57 that's a big piece of it as well that's
7:00 awesome yeah I feel like this is one of
7:02 those where everybody's like I need to
7:03 do something about how I'm communicating
7:05 but they don't even know what they're
7:06 looking for they're just like it doesn't
7:08 feel right but I don't know what I
7:09 should do differently
7:12 um okay last one uh the top five number
7:15 five is reporting an analysis we found a
7:17 lot of uh pain points there in
7:19 accounting firms
7:21 yeah yeah reporting and Analysis that's
7:23 a big one
7:25 um that ties kind of into the project
7:27 and the time tracking the billing as
7:30 well so
7:32 um being able from a manager or an admin
7:34 even or a partner's perspective just to
7:36 get a bird's eye view of not only the
7:39 project and the workflow the the AR the
7:43 payments what's been billed the
7:45 invoicing on a month-to-month basis on
7:47 an annual basis to compare
7:50 um
7:50 and and then being able to to run
7:54 realization reports is huge right we
7:56 have we have a lot of our our users that
7:58 bill on a flat rate or a fixed fee basis
8:02 but they don't know what they should
8:04 charge for those six fees because
8:05 they're just basing it off of previous
8:07 years and just guesstimating
8:10 what they think they should charge right
8:11 so if you had a report that you could
8:14 run where you could say okay we spent x
8:16 amount of time on this client last year
8:17 we're building them you know thousand
8:20 dollars a month but we're spending 20
8:21 grand of time for the year like we have
8:25 to make that time up somewhere we can't
8:26 just
8:27 work for them for for free basically
8:29 like we have to be able to run that
8:31 report I just actually talked to a firm
8:33 today that
8:35 um this morning so they what the guy
8:38 does is he has to
8:41 print out a report from QuickBooks time
8:44 he downloads it to excel
8:45 opens it in Excel he runs like
8:49 two or three different pivot tables to
8:51 analyze their write-up or their right
8:53 down and he does it on a quarterly basis
8:55 and he takes like
8:56 every quarter he spends like five hours
8:58 developing this Excel report to generate
9:02 the realization which
9:05 shouldn't shouldn't be that tedious
9:07 enough of time consuming to be able to
9:09 run those reports wow yeah yeah data is
9:12 huge if you uh don't have the data you
9:15 can't know if you're running a
9:16 profitable firm um maybe with two people
9:18 you can do that but when when the firm
9:20 grows you really got to have your your
9:22 finger on the pulse of what's going on
9:24 uh on a lighter note chain tell me
9:26 something unique about yourself or
9:28 something you like to do for fun or
9:29 something
9:31 yeah I I'm born and raised in South
9:34 Florida
9:35 um I said earlier that I'm a huge Sports
9:37 guy soccer is my passion I have been
9:40 around the world
9:42 um going to soccer matches and playing
9:45 soccer and I'm a huge Liverpool
9:47 supporter they're they're based out of
9:50 England they're in English English
9:51 Premier League and I've been over to
9:52 England watching them play and
9:55 um I love traveling and experiencing new
9:57 places so if I'm not playing soccer I'm
9:59 usually
10:00 at a beach somewhere or traveling or uh
10:04 trying a new experience
10:06 nice nice well this was great man
10:09 um Shane's talking more accounts than
10:11 anybody I know my prayers said that
10:13 um if you were listening to this video
10:14 and you're going yep that's me yep
10:16 that's me yep that's me um jump on a
10:18 call there's probably a link down there
10:21 um and talk to Shane about whether or
10:23 not firm 360 can help you out that's it
10:25 for now uh thanks bye thanks guys