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5 Tips to Persuade Clients to Adopt the Cloud

Oct 30th 2015
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It seems there's little avoiding the fact that adding value to your clients often involves preaching the benefits of moving to the cloud – a task many accountants may not feel the most comfortable doing.

But fear not. Know that finance is a collaborative activity and working with your clients utilizing a cloud platform is actually a very exciting opportunity. Cloud accounting enables businesses to stay connected to their books and accountants, plus it is scalable, cost-effective, and secure.

You may be well aware of this, but how do you get your clients on board? Persuading an entrepreneur to do something they aren't passionate about can be a tricky business; I know because I'm one of them!

The truth is, talking to business owners about their accounting package is unlikely to set their pulse racing. But there is one clear route to the heart of your average entrepreneur, and that is cash! The best way to persuade clients to make a move to an online accounting platform is to present the cost benefits of moving to the cloud and go from there.

Here are five selling points to help you persuade your SMB clients to adopt a cloud-based accounting package:

1. Cost: It's Cheaper than Hosted Solutions

Let's not beat around the bush here. Moving to the cloud, overall, is cheaper! Add up the cost of all those software licenses, the server maintenance, and IT services, and compare that to the single monthly fee from the likes of Xero (currently less than $7 a month) or even QuickBooks Online (currently starting at $8 a month). Pretty compelling stuff!

2. Increased Profits

A report commissioned by Rackspace and delivered by Vanson Bourne, in conjunction with Manchester Business School, found that 56 percent of businesses surveyed said cloud technologies help them increase profits. While this refers to cloud computing in general, accounting is no different – the business principles remain the same. The cloud is a rainmaker!

3. Time is Money

The time-saving costs of cloud accounting cannot be underestimated. Users of MYOB accounting software report saving an average of 10 hours a month compared to traditional solutions. Ten hours a month! Do you think business owners might be interested in recovering an entire day each month? You betcha!

4. Time is Money (this one is so important I'm saying it twice)

It's not just the time-saving benefits of the core online accounting platform. The ecosystems around each of the platforms offer software that provides yet more automation. For example, Receipt Bank automates the processing of bills, invoices, and receipts, and Deputy is a time-tracking app that takes the pain out of managing scheduling and payroll. My company also automates cash-flow forecasting so you can see when you will and won't have cash in the bank – which is essential for the day-to-day decision-making with SMB clients – and saves the time and labor involved in creating custom Excel-based spreadsheets.

The point is, there are hundreds of applications that can integrate with your data in the cloud to improve and speed business systems and processes, so your clients can focus on the things that are important to them.

5. It's Free to Convert

Well, it can be free to convert from on-premises to the cloud. MoveMyBooks is a tech solution that can complete conversions from Sage to QuickBooks Online or Xero in a matter of hours. It is currently offering their service for free. Also, some cloud accounting platforms are willing to pay accounting firms to perform conversions, removing the burden from the client.

There are many other benefits available to accountants and business owners alike. But in the persuasion game, I recommend play the cash card: It's the most immediate and instantly-gratifying benefit to your SMB clients. The cloud makes it easier to manage money and automate vital, but time-intensive, tasks. And the solutions are not only cheaper in cash terms, but also the efficiencies created mean more time can be spent on generating revenue for the business.

Do you think these tips will fly with your clients? What successful tactics have you used to get them to make the shift, or do you still have questions about the cloud yourself?

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