Using Technology: Don’t Make It an Option

shutterstock_131702831What I Learned at the Dentist

This week I had an appointment for a dental cleaning and checkup. I must admit that sitting in that chair with someone poking in my mouth is not one of my favorite things. Fortunately for me, this recent visit was much shorter than all the previous thanks to the new digital x-ray system they recently installed.

I was pleasantly surprised to see me dentist was keeping up to date with technology and took the opportunity to chat with her to find out how it has impacted her practice.

The Impact of Technology

My dentist told me that before going digital, it took the dental staff 7 minutes to develop the x-ray films. Only after developing them would they know if the x-rays were good, if not they would need to take new pictures which meant another 7-minute wait. The new digital machine provides instant results displayed on a computer monitor allowing staff to make sure they get good quality pictures in a fraction of the time.

She also told me that the new system saves them nearly 15 minutes for each patient that requires x-rays, reducing time spent in the chair as well as lower levels of radiation. Also, because they no longer need the developing equipment they were able to free up space in the office and eliminate the expense of the old x-ray and developing supplies. She said the time savings alone allows each dentist and hygienist in their office to serve on average two more patients per day.

It Should be Just as Easy for Accountants

For accountants, implementing a new technology to be used for all client services can increase internal productivity which allows us to serve more clients or focus on higher billable services.  The key here is using these technologies to serve the masses, not just as a solution for a single client or small group. It makes little sense to invest time and money to learn new tools and not reap the full reward.

What about the clients that aren’t’ ready for the change? Make them ready! Don’t give them the option; it is the way you provide the service. Do you think my dentist gave me the option of having my x-rays done the old way? Of course, not, she is the professional that I trust with my dental health needs. I respect and trust that she will always guide me in the right direction and use the best tools for the job. Your clients should feel the same way about you.

Make it a practice to talk to your clients about new technology and how they (not you) will benefit from its use. If you are not sure of the benefits, check with the software/hardware provider for guidance. If you are a member of their partner program, most provide access to marketing materials as well as an account manager that would be happy to work with you to put some messaging together.

If your clients are still unsure offer them the ability to “opt-out” Ask them to give it a try for 60 days and if they decide they do not like it you will go back to the old way. I use this tactic quite often and have never had anyone opt-out of the new way of doing things.

Judie McCarthy will be presenting the session, Getting it Right From the Start: 5 Tips for

Developing a Winning Bookkeeping Engagement, at Accountex 2016.