Cash Flow Q&A: App Fatigue I

Posted 17 August by Barb Easter in Accounting, Bookkeeping, Videos

Barb and Blaine discuss how ‘too much choice’ on the apps market can bog down your workflow. Is having a huge selection of great subscription apps for accountants and bookkeepers a good thing…or not?

Only if you’re in a growth mindset with a firm idea of what you want to accomplish with your core tech stack!

Transcription:

Hi everyone Barb Easter director of partnerships with Dryrun here today with Blaine Bertsch, Co-Founder of Dryrun.

Blaine and I had an off-camera, I’m gonna call it a scuffle, about a piece of terminology that we recently heard a lot at a conference that we were at Scaling New Heights, and that there was actually the term ‘tech fatigue,’ so I indicated that there are thousands of apps in a few key market places and that tech fatigue is a thing.

Blaine had a surprisingly different opinion about, well not really different, but a different perspective on what it means to be tech fatigued and how we should look at that instead.

So Blaine I am tired of apps searching through apps looking at apps trying to make them integrate for a client and businesses and our own business and I’m badly in need of a refreshing viewpoint can you give me one please.

(Blaine) Yeah I I heard that term a lot when we were in Atlanta. We just kept hearing tech fatigue, tech fatigue it’s one of those things that I know like you’re really sympathetic with that I was, I’ll be honest with you, it was starting to get on my nerves.

(Blaine) As a business owner, and we talk to business owners every day, as a business owner it gets to the point where your customers don’t care, they need help – they’ve got big problems, these apps aren’t “nice to haves.” The profit margins are getting tighter everything is getting harder and the idea to cut apps down to these two… “I am only using these two” and it’s such a disservice to your customers…to your clients and I’m just being honest here.

It’s such a disservice because these owners, we talk to them every day, they are struggling they’re battling to keep their heads above water and the last thing they need is a square peg in a round hole.

(Blaine) You know “we’re going to use this system because this is what our office uses” when the business, they may need an inventory system, a point of purchase system, a payroll system, that’s specific to them.

(Barb) I would like to vet these things for my clients and provide them with a solution is that not my role as a subject matter expert in accounting and bookkeeping?

(Blaine) Well, yeah absolutely, so you can’t drop the ball there.

(Barb) Ouch.

(Blaine) If you are going to say, “I am going to advise you on apps,” you can’t say “I’m not going to, I’m going to cut out and not pay attention to them, I’m not going to learn them.”

(Blaine) …but fatigue, to me it’s kind of like “I am trying to learn everything every app in the store from end to end.”

(Barb) Right isn’t that my role? Isn’t that my job?

(Blaine) The thing you need to know is your core apps. The stuff that really matters to you and to your business – that you’re going to use with your clients and then you’ve got to be able to give advice on the areas where you can help so sometimes, with a business, literally all they need to hear is “I can see you’re having trouble with inventory there are some tools that are going to help you with inventory” make sure it plugs into an accounting system and you can make it work end to end.

So you can help give them a little bit of advice. You don’t need to know every app inside out. The thing is the business likely doesn’t even know that there is something there that can help and I’m talking game changing apps that can help them with their process, with their time tracking, with their inventory, with their job tracking and all this data can go right into the accounting tool and save everybody time. They can keep everything all the information correct from end to end.

It can be an absolute game-changer for the business and that’s what the business owners need if they’re trusting you to help them figure this stuff out they don’t need to be boxed into some system that may not work for them.

The cloud tool “fingerprint” is what I call it. For a business now there’s some things like the accounting tool and maybe it’s something that imports expenses and receipts and stuff that is probably the same across 99% of the customers. Where that changes is… the specific apps the CRM, the sales apps, inventory or project management all these things that are so core to a specific business they need that information and they need it all to work, they need it to be integrated, they need somebody to help them with that.

So when I hear the words “app fatigue” you know it sometimes it kind of makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up and like “you’ve got to be kidding me.” I talk with these businesses, business owners they are struggling, they are battling and honestly if I can point them somewhere and say go talk to these people because they know it, they’re going to help you figure this out and help you set it up that’s the person, they’re going to get all the business. They are going to get it because I can tell you, you can trust them, they’re going to help you they know our clients and help these businesses right

(Barb) I think that that two falls into “subject matter expert” so sometimes expertise is knowing where to refer people to get additional information that industry specific.

(Blaine) Yes, absolutely.

(Barb) Yeah, I think that’s a really good point and a really good way to avoid two things, so avoid what we’re not going to call “app fatigue” anymore or “tech fatigue” we’re going to call it “tech opportunity” and also to empower their clients to take more of a hand in choosing, vetting and using apps that are more industry specific.

(Blaine) Yeah, and I know I took a very combative stance here.

(Barb) I kind of like it.

(Blaine) But where it all started was me calling it “tech opportunity”

(Barb) Yes!

(Blaine) The other side of it is there is a huge opportunity for advisers like our partners, that really dive in and know how to advise their customers on the opportunities that they have in their business, the opportunities to improve their business that’s also an opportunity for them to expand their own business.

It’s an opportunity for our partners to be that trusted advisor that is really going to help their clients and that means they’re going to become very reliant, they’re willing to pay, they want that help, they need that help.

We hear it all the time, I know we hear things that, a lot of times from business customers, that accountants and bookkeepers don’t hear. We call it the ‘confessional,’ they tell us everything and we know their problems inside out. I think sometimes they go to their accountant or bookkeeper and they’re actually scared or they don’t want to look bad in front of them so they come to us when they should be going to them.

The simple equation I guess for the accountants and bookkeepers is ask a lot of questions, dig around and find out what those problems are so you can help them move along. You have to do a little research, you can help them along and improve their business and there are fewer mistakes so that it’s essential totally essential.

(Barb) Ok, well thanks for that perspective. Just to give a little context Blaine has owned several businesses and worked on them from the ground up. He’s a successful businessman so that maybe that particular term just goes to activate you so I can endeavour not to use the term tech fatigue anymore I’ll call it, I won’t call it tech fatigue I will call it tech opportunity.

If you’re interested in more information regarding cash flow forecasting of course that’s what we do when we’re not talking with businesses and accountants on how to do it so you can get more information at dryrun.com thanks for listening.

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