How to adapt processes to the evolving accounting technology: Interview with aVers

With more accounting technology that help to simplify specific processes than ever, you’ll find that your accounting/bookkeeping firm will need to shift internal processes in order to adapt. No app will be perfect for your existing processes and creating bespoke software is generally too expensive. Instead, you’ll benefit from specializing in key apps from each vertical.

As part of an interview series we’re running with a range of accounting technologists listed on the Amaka Advisor Directory, we spoke to Nick Dorogavtsev, Data Engineer & Accountant at aVers Cloud Solutions. This is number three of three snippets discussing the growing importance of data and software in the accounting profession.

Below, you’ll find the recording of the interview snippet, a summary of key points and the full transcript.

Key points on adapting your firm to accounting technology

  • “A bespoke app is always the last option and to be avoided at all costs.”
  • Unless there is huge economies of scale to benefit from, bespoke software development isn’t worthwhile.
  • Using existing solutions will sometimes require you to adjust your internal processes but ultimately, the small subscription fee makes it worthwhile.
  • First, start by specializing in one accounting software. From there, you can start integrating with other tools and build an ecosystem from there.
  • Decide on the secondary apps you want to specialize in for each scenario whether that be an e-commerce platform, POS system, inventory management system or a solution tailored to a niche such as hairdressers.
  • Having specializations makes it easier to decide whether to acquire or pass on a potential client.

Full interview transcript with aVers Cloud Solutions

Gian Ottavio (Amaka)

Hey everyone. Today I am joined by Nick Dorogavtsev from aVers Cloud Solutions. aVers Cloud Solutions is a 100% cloud based bookkeeping practice that also specializes in cash flow management for small and medium businesses. Nick has over ten years of experience in the field as a certified data engineer. Combining his passion for accounting to deliver A-class cash flow visualization reports to clients.

Nick, thanks for joining us today.

Nick Dorogavtsev (aVers Cloud Solutions)

Thank you. A pleasure to be here.

Gian Ottavio (Amaka)

If we put on the accounting practice hat, you know, with more and more pieces of technology, integrations, forecasting, data visualization applications that are coming to the market, as an accounting practice owner, how do you recommend going about ascertaining whether I should introduce an existing app or whether I should hire a developer to create my own bespoke app?

Nick Dorogavtsev (aVers Cloud Solutions)

A bespoke app is always the last option and to be avoided at all costs. Yeah, unless for example, we develop bespoke solutions to our clients and a condition usually for it is they’re quite large. Yes, they can afford it obviously to start with, but they can implement that on a large scale. They can use economies of scale. You scale it up.

If you’re talking about an accounting practice with seven accountants and you create your own thing for only seven, then that’s kind of why this is going to pay, especially if you don’t do it yourself. If I write the code and we have an internal development team full time, that’s another thing. Yeah. If you hire a contractor to do it, it will cost you ten times more.

Yeah. Because anyway. And then they will ask you when you want to introduce an improvement to the previous team, you contract. It doesn’t do it. You’re hiring a new one. Now they want to rebuild the whole thing because they don’t understand what they previously built. And yes, it can be documented, blah blah, but it never happens. Yes. So when you’re entering into bespoke development and it seems to be cheap and you hire them overseas and it’s costing that’s compared to what it used to cost, it still will cost you a lot of money.

Definitely. Actually, people don’t understand how expensive mobile apps are and how frequently they need to be maintained. So what is all this all about? This is about finding a solution that you need to work for you. It’s not the, okay, let me put it this way. When you’re implementing a new piece of software, the logic there is to make that software work the way you want.

It’s a procrastinating thing. You will adjust your organization to work how that particular tool is working. Yes, you can provide the feedback to the software developers till the cows come home about that. You want this, this and that. And they told you that it’s going to be developed in half a year, usually half a year in development terms is three years.

I know that, I do it. So you get something that is already working. Someone else invested all this money into. You pay a small subscription fee, they are happy. You should be even more happy because you didn’t need to do anything. Yeah, but the downside there, you have to adjust the processes within to make it work.

Gian Ottavio (Amaka)

And that’s exactly right. If you think about it like that, like it’s like an investment time frame, right? Your investment cost at time zero is refining your processes internally to generate time, saving money, saving in the long term.

Nick Dorogavtsev (aVers Cloud Solutions)

Not even talking about expenses and the R&D side of things because if you’re developing it for your internal use, that’s a completely different kettle of fish. And again, to me, when you listen to this, do they understand because it’s not an R&D majority of cases. But basically now you have this expense that you brought it off on a regular basis.

But the only downside, that piece of software is not designed to work around your business. Your business is not fitting within. And with this attitude, you can adopt much more than you ever could. Yeah, because there’s a little bit, in my opinion, an arrogant attitude. And I do buy a lot of software for my company. It will do a lot of damage because then you go, Oh yeah, but they promised that it would do that, but I thought that it would do that.

And, this and this constant blame game would only downgrade. If you adopt that I will need to adjust my business to whatever the software does and everything would be fine. I don’t know if it’s useful or not, but I know.

Gian Ottavio (Amaka)

That’s exactly that’s exactly the type of insights we were looking for because, you know, a lot of a lot of feedback is within support sessions or just even prospect feedback is that that’s not how I’m doing things now. And as you said, you do need to shift the way your business processes are now because you’re introducing an automated process.

So it’s a bit of, you know, kind of strategic thinking from the business perspective and understanding where am I finding efficiencies in other processes through introducing this application? So yeah, you’ve hit the nail on the head in terms of the type of insights we’re looking at. And I mean, look to close things out right outside of your typical data visualization tools and you know, Google Data Studio like products for other accounting practices, bookkeeping professionals, listening, what are what are some key areas that you think they can find easy wins through implementing different types of integrations and software tools across their practice?

Nick Dorogavtsev (aVers Cloud Solutions)

Choose one piece of software so if you are dealing with accounting, I don’t believe you would be the best advisor if you are a specialist in MYOB, Xero, QuickBooks Online and everything else, choose one. If you are within the area of the point of sale system, choose one, you are with Vend or you or with DEAR or you with Square or whatever that might be.

That will because then that is much easier to acquire a client rather than going out there and saying, I know everything because, yes, you might know a lot about each of this systems, but with time it would be very difficult to maintain knowledge across all of them and betting on the particular type of software, especially at the beginning when they just emerge.

It is very difficult. Yeah. So you just need to make a decision. It’s a gamble. Nowadays it’s a little bit easier because markets are a little bit more stable. So we have obvious winners in point of sale systems for cafes. Yeah, or retail stores or e-commerce. There are few options, but you need just one that you work with.

And a, it’s much easier to acquire our clients. They know that system really well. Someone gives you a call and is okay, we have this problem with the stock because it is there and it can be this is the solution for the system we can implement at the cost. Yeah. Or rather than oh yeah. Let me give a call.

We have this IT guy who can come in and who can solve the problem and who is kind of specialist in everything. Then that’s a completely different conversation. So sales would be much easier if you specialize, only more so. My business partner, she is not with an engineering side, it’s just in biology. But she also has her strength in the integrations.

So she knows particular products really well in the industry and when people talk to her, she can quickly because she already dealt with this problem before. I have my stack of particular things. So when people, for example, come to me and say, Oh, we’re using Office 365, I say that’s not me. You need someone else.

I’m a Google guy so I can help you with the rerouting and massive amounts of payables through your Google system. When it comes to Microsoft, you need someone else. Yeah. And then that is very important with all these data flows. So pick your point of sale system, pick your e-commerce system or whatever. Pick your I don’t know if you’re dealing with hairdressers, pick a particular system that deals with that. That would be my tip for the easy wins and specialize only one.

Gian Ottavio (Amaka)

Yeah no look again Nick thank you so much for your time today. Really valuable insights and I’m sure they are. So the audience really appreciated it as well. Thanks again.

Nick Dorogavtsev (aVers Cloud Solutions)

No worries. Thank you.

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