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What Business Owners Want

Cloud Accounting Weekly is now Own Your Close, a newsletter for management accountants, controllers,
December 4 · Issue #65 · View online
Own Your Close
Cloud Accounting Weekly is now Own Your Close, a newsletter for management accountants, controllers, and providers of outsourced accounting services. For more accounting technology updates, tune in to the Cloud Accounting Podcast. was kind enough to fly me out to Austin for a panel discussion at the Small Business Banking Conference this past week. 
At first, I figured it would be a nice vacation with a little work tossed in, but I ended up also taking home a valuable nugget of insight that I’d like to share with you now.
It has to do with what business owners are looking for when choosing who to bank with. According to research provided by, the top two criteria are:
  1. Ease of use
  2. Cost
This isn’t surprising in itself. Who doesn’t want to buy a product that’s both easy to use and affordable? 
These two criteria probably apply to just about every business-to-business service or product in existence.
And yet accountants spend very little time optimizing their firms for customer experience or lower fees. 
(In fact, most of the time we’re doing our best to figure out ways to charge even more for our existing services).
We accountants like to think that our expertise means we don’t have to be the easiest to work with. We’re busy people in high demand — that’s why we don’t return your calls or emails right away. And our expertise justifies our obscene hourly rates.
But if you ask me, knowing what you’re doing is just table stakes. You need to be an expert to play the game. And most clients don’t know how to spot the difference between one expert and another, anyway.
So how do you differentiate yourself once you’ve got a seat at the table? 
Make your firm ridiculously easy to work with, and do it for a great price.
The right tech stack will let you do that. Use apps like to drive down the cost of low value transactional work while providing a superior customer experience. 
The best part is that you don’t even have to add new services. Just do what you’ve been doing, but do it better and cheaper.
Everybody wins.
Except for those firms that don’t make the switch — they’ll be hemorrhaging clients!
As always, here’s my curated collection of the best links I clicked on this past week.
Heading to Xerocon 2017? Here's Your Go-To Twitter Guide
Sales & Marketing
The Normal Accounting Sales Model No Longer Works
Forget Robots: Bad Public Policies Could Be Bigger Job Killers
Industry News
QuickBooks Online Powers Intuit Sales Surge
3 Ultimate Tips to Build An Accounting Firm Brand That Stands Out 3 Ultimate Tips to Build An Accounting Firm Brand That Stands Out
Blockchain Gets a Wall Street Win: ‘We Know the Thing Works Now’
Pricing Methodology
Value Pricing in the CPA Profession
Fixed Pricing: Everything You Need to Know
The Best Carry-On Luggage The Best Carry-On Luggage
What's Next for QuickBooks
Intuit’s Plans for QuickBooks Online Span ERP, Practice Suites and Loans
The War on Excel
Stop Using Excel, Finance Chiefs Tell Staffs
Finance Pros Say You’ll Have to Pry Excel Out of Their Cold, Dead Hands
App Ecosystem Updates
FreshBooks — November Updates
Practice Ignition — Client Notifications
TaxJar — Designate Tax Exempt or Wholesale Transactions
Xero — Latest Additions to App Marketplace
Xero — GAAP-compliant Statement of Cash Flows Xero — GAAP-compliant Statement of Cash Flows
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