I’ve been looking at the April 2011 Journal of Accountancy and the article “Survey Highlighs: Emerging Tools for Firms of All Sizes” interested the “broker in me”. Surveying a bit over 2,900 firms, the top three technology uses were: 1) Time and Billing Software, 76%, 2) Use multiple computer screens, 71%, and 3) Have an active/maintained website, 66%.
Here’s where the Perception part comes in. If you’re selling your firm (or just promoting it to potential clients), how do you think you’ll be perceived if you don’t have these in place? Let me set aside the geek in me for a moment, and not address how many monitors litter your desktop. Let’s just concentrate on items 1 and 3.
The last, an active/maintained website is probably more important to potential clients. Remember too, the key word here is maintained. If you haven’t updated your website it will show…and not favorably. Potential buyers will also get a “sense of you” by looking at your website. Wouldn’t you rather they perceive you as on top of the technology issues? That’s the sort of thing that helps support any type of premium you might be asking for your practice.
I’ve saved the best for last, Time and Billing Software. You may be surprised how many practitioners we come across who expect to sell their practice for a premium, yet are unable to extract the most rudimentary data about their practice. In short, they aren’t very good at running a business…just telling others how to run theirs, I suppose. It’s not necessary to be on the bleeding edge of technology. However, a well run, efficient practice that employs and uses technology will be able to command more of a premium when it comes time to sell.