Do you consider yourself “up-to-date” with technology? It seems like every day we are told that some new product or software holds the key to our future success. However, for every game-changing new tool that hits the market, there are dozens of unnecessary or overhyped products that don’t really offer the value they claim to.
So, we have to be wary of products that promise more than they can deliver and we must also determine which products actually serve a purpose that suits our needs. This challenge emerges in our personal lives, but even more so as business operators.
At Advantage Insights, we take the challenge seriously.
We have carefully implemented cloud computing and data analysis tools that serve our clients’ goals. Additionally, we are vigilant about understanding software updates and changes as they occur, which is a neverending process.
When competition and new technologies collide, the result is innovation. This is true in every industry and tech sector. It’s easy to ignore the latest social media app or VR gaming headset because we probably don’t need those things. But business owners can’t afford to ignore new tech and software that offer real value and solutions for efficient operations. So how does Advantage Insights stay ahead of the curve for our clients? It all starts with research.
The internet has made it easy to be lazy when it comes to research. One might subscribe to relevant news feeds and follow industry leaders and trends, expecting to stay in the know. However, if you really want to know what’s going on with technology in your industry, you can’t go it alone.
I attend financial management and accounting conferences and trade shows to speak to vendors directly about their products. Secondly, I remain engaged with a number of networking groups where tools and tech stacks are discussed among earnest business leaders. You can’t always expect the whole story from sales representatives, so it’s crucial to stay connected with other people who are using these technologies on a daily basis. We discuss the pros and cons of each software and feature, remaining aware of trends and what new technologies may be on the horizon.
I make it a point to attend webinars that share new products and features that can support my business, always thinking about how I can make things better for my team and our clients. Still, we don’t adopt every new technology that promises the world. You have to understand what’s out there, know what will integrate well with your current systems, and decide what will actually address any challenges you have.
QuickBooks Desktop and QuickBooks Online each have a long and evolving list of software integrations with specialized functions for different industries. For each client, we find integrations that make it easier to track sales, expenses, inventory, assets, payroll, and any other data that help to offer a more complete picture of financial performance.
One of our most important QuickBooks integrations is with a software called “Dext.” It works seamlessly with QuickBooks to allow clients to record bills and receipts simply by snapping photos. Photos of bills and receipts are automatically uploaded to the cloud and QuickBooks records relevant data for financial management, removing the need to enter them manually. This allows our accountants to easily verify the information and make all these documents available at the push of a button.
Another essential QuickBooks integration is with Melio, a B2B bill paying platform. Melio regularly updates with new enhancements that make it easier to pay bills and record payments for future reference.
Most clients are understandably cautious about adopting new tools and procedures, so we make sure there is a solid use case before we employ a new integration or software feature. When a client requests some kind of information we can’t currently provide, we look for available solutions, as they’re probably not the first to ask the same questions of their financial data.
Every core tool Advantage Insights uses has certifications. Our team stays current with those certifications as they become available, usually on an annual basis. Intense competition in the software space ensures that exciting new features are unveiled and incorporated regularly. When they hold the potential for more efficient and informative financial management, we embrace them.
Advantage Insights remains informed of our clients’ pain points, meeting monthly to discuss performance and challenges. As a result, we learn a lot about their various industries and what information they need to compete on a strategic level. We also find workflow tools that make it easier for clients to record data, access information, and incorporate new processes into their business.
The story of Advantage Insights could not be told without mentioning all the ways we communicate with our clients. While our team and clients are often located in different states, it doesn’t feel that way. We stay close to our clients by communicating via video conference, email, in-app alerts, and the occasional phone call.
By conducting virtual meetings, we are able to easily and securely share the information our clients need without having to set up a projector. I still appreciate the opportunity to meet in person with clients, but the ease and efficiency of virtual meetings helps everyone stay productive and informed.
The internal team at Advantage Insights makes heavy use of Microsoft Teams. We are never more than a chat message away from each other, sharing calendars, and conducting internal meetings through secure Teams channels.
Machine learning or “AI” is another advancement that will continually evolve the tools we use every day. As it stands, AI hasn’t replaced any of the essential accounting functions, but it has been used to enhance data analysis and budgeting projections.
Staying on the cutting edge of financial management is central to who we are at Advantage Insights. We understand that in today's rapidly evolving business landscape, embracing the right technology is part of how we serve our clients better.
Ongoing education and certification are at the core of our team's expertise. We keep our certifications current, ensuring that we are well-equipped to leverage new features and tools as they become available. Through monthly meetings and constant communication, we stay attuned to our clients' needs, enabling us to offer solutions that empower them to compete strategically.
At Advantage Insights, our commitment to staying at the forefront of financial management ensures that we can provide innovative solutions that make your financial journey smoother, more informed, and ultimately more successful. If you are ready to embrace the cutting edge of financial management and take your business to new heights, reach out. Contact us to start your journey towards transformative financial awareness.