BigTime Software, Inc., a provider of practice management tools for growing professional services firms, announced a new consulting network to help professionals at small- to mid-sized accounting firms generate year-round revenue in a highly cyclical business and enhance their value as a trusted advisor to their clients.
The network, called BigTeam, fills a void in the market by helping accountants become more tech savvy, giving them a competitive edge in an increasingly commoditized industry. "Accountants are, frankly, frustrated by most of the referral networks that target them, because those networks are typically a one-way street – requiring them to send business to the network, not the other way around," says Brian Saunders, CEO and founder of BigTime. "By creating a consultant network built from the ground up by its member partners, we're giving these entrepreneurial business owners what they've been asking for: the potential for enhanced client relationships and new business opportunities, at no cost."
Jeff Lyons, president of BigTime and a former Big 4 accounting firm consulting manager, will head up the network's pilot program. "The goal is to create the first consultant network that's designed by and for its members," says Lyons, who will work initially with a core group of QuickBooks ProAdvisors to shape the program. "By delivering the hands-on technical training today's accountants need to stay on top of what's new and what's next, BigTeam can help its partners become a go-to technology resource for their clients."
The network is one of several partnership initiatives BigTime plans to roll out in 2012, in part fueled by venture capital funding secured last year. Previously, the company announced an OEM licensing agreement with Intuit Inc. Under the agreement, BigTime will work with Intuit to embed BigTime's core time, billing, and practice management functionality into a product that targets accounting professionals.
"What I like most about the BigTeam concept is that it'll help make our lives easier," said Brian P. Gilmartin, CPA, director of finance at True Partners Consulting LLC, a tax and business advisory firm based in Chicago. "By becoming more conversant in new technologies and software solutions, we as consultants can become more valuable in the eyes of our clients and have cutting-edge tools at our disposal to help expand our businesses."