Helping your clients move to the cloud (Sponsored)

Aug 20, 2019

To run an efficient practice, you need to transition clients on to your preferred cloud accounting software.  Having your clients in the cloud will allow you to run a seamless operation and take full advantage of the technology’s features, such as:

  • instant access to client financial data;
  • easy, online reconciliation of accounts;
  • a dashboard tracking key performance indicators; and
  • one single ledger and secure online collaboration with clients.

When you recommend new software to your clients, they'll see you as an expert. Just be warned that not everyone will adapt to the new technology at the same pace. The move to the cloud will be quite a different journey, depending on who you’re dealing with.

Patterns of technology acceptance

Computers and software have been used in offices for more than a quarter of a century. In that time, many new types of technology have emerged. Each time new technology appears – whether it’s laptops, the internet, mobile phones – people take time to get used to it. They adapt in different ways and at different speeds. This, of course, applies to cloud accounting software, as well.

Technology changes have occurred so often that researchers have been able to observe patterns in how people react. From their research, they came up with the technology acceptance model (TAM) and diffusion of innovations theory (DOI) to assist us in predicting how different groups of people will handle technological change, and how we can help them along the way.

Adapting in different ways

So what do TAM and DOI tell us about technology adoption? When it comes to learning to use new technology, people tend to fall into the following categories:

Early adopters

Early adopters love new technology and throw themselves into it with a passion. They queue outside stores for new smartphones the night before they launch.

The early majority and late majority

The early majority take a lead from early adopters and help build critical mass around adoption of a new technology. The late majority are more sceptical and slower to follow, but get there in the end.

Late adopters (unflatteringly called ‘laggards’ in the scientific community)

This group isn’t keen on change. Although they may be willing to learn, it can take them a long time to adapt to and accept new technology.

Forewarned is forearmed

It's rare a business will have problems with the early adopters. They'll embrace the move to the cloud and will quickly learn to use the new software.

However, it's the late adopters that may cause you some issues. They’ll get lost in the software and require more support. They’re also more likely to become discouraged when things don’t initially work perfectly. You’ll find that they blow hot and cold – agreeing that the software has awesome potential but later becoming pessimistic when they hit hurdles.

Don't be despondent if some of your clients have trouble adapting. Now you know that it's going to happen, it won't be a shock when it does and you can prepare them and yourselves for the change.

You can read more about technology adoption, getting your clients into the cloud and other business matters on Xero.com.

(This article is sponsored by Xero.)