Cash Flow Q&A: App Fatigue II

Posted 16 September by Blaine Bertsch in Accounting, Bookkeeping, Cash Flow, Entrepreneur, Small Business, Videos

Barb talks with Blaine about how accountants and bookkeepers can quickly evaluate apps to get on with the business of servicing their clients.

Transcription:

Hi Everyone,

It’s Blaine with dryrun and I am here today with Barb Easter, Director of Partnerships.

We were just talking a little bit about some of the challenges our partners, our bookkeepers, accountants, CFO partners face with their tech stack.

We had talked in an earlier video about the issue of tech fatigue which we are sort of tech opportunity but we also know it’s still an issue and a way to deal with that issue, talking with Barbara is to figure out how you can focus on a real core set of apps for yourself and have more of a cursory or just enough knowledge of the rest of the app universe to be able to advise your clients.

So Barbara, I’m going to pass it over to you so you can discuss this topic in a little more depth.

Barb:

Thanks, having recently come back from an accounting conference, Scaling New Heights, pleased to be there, what we heard a lot of was that there’s an overwhelming number of apps to try to sort through and evaluate in order to have the right stack for each of your clients.

In a previous video Blaine and I were talking about each businesses finger print of apps. That fingerprint has two parts, it has industry specific apps and then it has core accounting and bookkeeping apps.

So today I’d just like to touch a little bit on those core accounting and bookkeeping apps. Not the apps specifically but maybe how to vet those apps so that you can get a stack in place quickly, effectively that’s robust enough to use with the majority if not all of your clients.

Why I’m going back to what is a foundational issue I think is because I am still hearing a lot about fatigue heretofore renamed tech opportunity but those messages of fatigue tell me that we are still not doing enough to help evaluate and just disqualify apps that are just not for us.

So here’s a life rule, it’s not an accountant rule or an app rule. Each of us is only given 24 hours in a day, so knowing how to hard disqualify some of these apps that are never going to…without doing a deep dive into them is really critical.

The first step in evaluation is what is a core app versus what is an industry specific app.

So that should right there, if you are looking at a market place that has thousands of apps, you should be able to just easily sort into a yes, no pile.

Ok, much as you do a big declutter I am sure. I declutter here all the time. So, and it’s basically a keep it, don’t keep it.

From there, we need to look a little more closely at what functions you need in your core stack.

So obviously the linchpin is your accounting software. So surrounding that are some functions that you need to fill to fully flesh out your accounting software and go maybe beyond your accounting software as well, move into a future where inputting transactions don’t form a big part of your job responsibility anymore.

We need something that is going to help you input data, so that’s a slot that can be filled.

Then you have your accounting software, once data is in the system what can we do with it? Can we do all of the accounting functions that businesses hire their accountants and bookkeeper for…

Blaine:

So when you are talking about inputting data, I’m guessing that the core of that is just basically receipts like bills and invoices into your system.

Barb:

We could talk about a variety of electronic fetching, I think that all that falls under the category of input and that electronic fetching really I would return the serve to my client and say here is an app or another app that I’ve vetted, you might want to try them to see if they are right for you, but really I am talking about how do we get paper into digital.

And you bring up an interesting point actually, so if we are going to look in the marketplace for apps that fulfill that function of paper to digital, you might find anywhere between 10 to 100 apps that perform that function, to varying degrees of ability. Some that are really great, some that are just emerging, some that are not available in your country, some that don’t work on Mac, so at this point you should be able to do your hard disqualify, to get that list down to a number that’s manageable.

Nobody is expecting or wants you to do a deep dive into 100 apps, so that or even, read the reviews of a hundred apps, your should actually be able to go through very quickly and say, yes, no, yes, no…maybe, maybe, yes.

Take that number down to a manageable five you would consider at that point perhaps doing a demo on.

It is only by saying no to the majority of the apps and apps in the market that you are going to be able to say yes to the time that you need for the five that are worthy and deserving of your time and your clients time.

Finally, we’ve taken a step from present day so you are reporting on what occurred in the past to going forward into the future.

What does that look like? So that last slot, your core stack, and maybe I’m a little bit biased, I don’t know, but it’s looking at what the future might hold in terms of cashflow management and then forward looking strategy.

Again, you search through the App Store, there might be I don’t know, I can think of a number of apps that might look like they fill the bill, so do a hard disqualify based on flexibility, customer support, ease of use both by you and your clients and finally what integrations they support, what they claim to support versus what is a robust support for you and your work flows and you’ll be left with a couple of really good options to do a deep dive into…

This whole discussion is not meant to be focused on a particular app, but more, how do we stop ourselves from drowning in a sea of apps, how do we know what is a great opportunity for investigation and what is merely a waste of time.

That entire process starts with just placing a very clear line and saying anything that falls beyond this is not for me at this time, I’ll reevaluate next year on, for one day next year and doing a deep dive on the ten or fifteen that are left.

Blaine:

So your typical core stack you have a data input and your accounting system, you can do some reporting out of there and then you have something that looks forward.

I know that we are running out of time here but I know the next thing you want talk about here is the industry specific, the task specific, the things that actually take that core stack that your customers might use and get into that fingerprint where they have all these critical apps that really suit their sector, their business specific needs.

Barb:

Agreed.

Blaine:

Alright, well thanks everyone for watching. If you are looking for more information on cashflow forecasts definitely hit us up at dryrun.com you can chat with us, send us an email at hello@dryrun.com and we’d love to chat with you.

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