From XU Magazine, 
Issue 31

Step-by-step guide on building the perfect tech stacks for your clients

Learn how leading accountants choose select apps for each client’s needs

With over a thousand apps on Xero’s App Store alone, it can feel impossible to narrow down and specialise.
This article originated from the Xero blog. The XU Hub is an independent news and media platform - for Xero users, by Xero users. Any content, imagery and associated links below are directly from Xero and not produced by the XU Hub.
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To stay ahead, you not only need to build a tech stack for managing your accounting firm, but be able to recommend a tech stack to clients. This allows you to create more streamlined workflows internally, leading to more efficiencies across resources and improved margins. For clients, you can offer higher levels of service and set them up for success by enabling data-driven decisions.

1) Building a tech stack around a core accounting software

Leading firms typically specialise in one to two cloud-based accounting software. Being exclusive to one will allow you to build tech stacks around a single core. It’s easier to scale given that data and workflows across all clients are working the same. Plus, the time spent on training will be reduced considerably. Though it’s not impossible to specialise in multiple, it makes things more complicated.

2) Working with clients who have existing solutions

New clients might have a pre-existing tech stack that sits outside of what you specialise in. When this comes up, test apps you’re unfamiliar with and compare to apps already in your tool belt. The same goes for working with existing clients on a tech stack. You’ll either find better solutions or end up needing to transition the client to apps you recommend for their needs. Where a system is not replaceable you will need to rely on training and building process documentation.

3) What to look for when testing and comparing apps

When digging into the viability of an app, determine the features that are most critical. For example, if you’re comparing integrations that sync transactions to your accounting software, if customised account mapping by product category is a requirement then make sure that functionality is available. A lot of the time, apps aren’t extensive enough and can end up costing you more time than it saves.

4) Types of apps most clients will need in their tech stack

There are a few categories of apps that will make up the foundation of most tech stacks. Depending on the type of service you provide, these might not be client-facing and instead run in the background. Top accounting firms should be able to recommend apps for payroll, CRM, expense management, reporting and forecasting. In some categories you will find some apps service certain industries better than others.

5) Customising your tech stack to specific client needs

Each client will have different tech stack requirements depending on a range of factors, including size, whether they are a new business or existing business, what industry they operate in, how many employees they have, and how many products they have. Make sure the flow of data between apps is accurate and timely so that key business information is always at hand.

Why leave it there?

To see Amaka’s range of accounting integrations and automation tools

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