When it comes to accounting, bookkeeping, and fintech solutions, it is fairly safe to assume that we accountants and bookkeepers know best. But WHY a choice is better is rarely clear, and we often fail to connect these dots in a way that sticks.
So, how can we be better at communicating why some choices are ‘better’?
I have always considered my clients when evaluating tech stack options. But now, knowing my client’s ‘worry-type’ is crucial to how I explain the why behind changes I ask them to make.
In my 7 years of accounting experience, I have found that vague, worry-fueled resistance to change falls into two types: worry about doing things ‘correctly’ OR worry about ‘missing’ things.
“What if I do it wrong?” It can sound like suspicion of new or complicated things, but that is not necessarily the case. More likely it is an underlying fear that their actions will cause things to go sideways. Talk includes “What if I…. and mess it all up?” and “Can I accidentally….?”. Almost all the worry centers around the actions of your client (or their team) being a complicating force. It is not perfectionism, it is worry they will be paralyzed by choices they cannot understand.
“What if something gets missed?” This might seem like a suspicion of things that are described as “easier” or “automated”. But most likely it is them being unsure their way of doing things will succeed without them; that things will go sideways if they are not running the show. Talk includes “What if I… will x/y/z still happen?” and “How will I know if ….?” Almost all the concerns will center around your client’s absence being a complication. It is not ego, it is worry about being overtaken by automations that do not know better..
Both kinds of worry are:
- Those of scrappy individuals who had to figure everything out themselves.
- Approaches to dealing with a lack of understanding.
- Barriers to scaling business, theirs and yours!
- Go-to defenses for those more comfortable with a known problem than learning about a potential, but unknown, ‘solution’.
- Brought on by specific situations. No client is going to be the same “type” in every part of their business..
- Solvable! Worries can transform as clients have new experiences!
This last part is key. It means not only can we give clients a new outlook on their challenges, we can also help them ANTICIPATE them.
For instance, I love Veem. I recommend it to all my clients. However, I discuss Veem in a way that keeps the worry-type of my client in mind. This approach helps me present a better potential experience for them. For example:
On Veem Efficiency
To a Break-It-Worrier:
“You or your staff can do A/P and A/R tasks, even internationally, all without entering data into the accounting software. This avoids human error and a trip to the bank. We can even set up some approvals, so that you can map out what should happen in advance. And because Veem syncs with our accounting system, the information will get passed to me reliably. You’ll have a second set of eyes on things.”
To a Ball-Drop-Worrier:
“You or your staff can do A/P and A/R tasks, even internationally, without entering the main accounting software or heading to the bank. You can also set up approvals in Veem, giving you full workflow visibility. This means you can get help with the busywork, while still keeping your eye on things. And Veem syncs to our accounting system, so the books stay private and double-entry error-free.”
On Veem Flexibility
“Veem allows your customers to pay you easily, in whatever manner works for you and for them. No more scrambling to figure out how to accept a credit card as payment or if your system can handle a transfer. You decide in advance what works for your company, and Veem walks customers through their options when they pay. And the same goes for payments you send through Veem to others. The process in Veem is super transparent both ways. And their 24/7 support is excellent!”
“Veem allows you to decide how your customers can pay you, and allows you to choose how to pay your vendors. There are a lot of options, all of them handled by Veem with as much oversight as you need. No more paying every bill yourself just because you want to use a credit card, or accepting payments manually if customers want to send you a bank transfer. Using Veem is super transparent and trackable both ways. And their live support is extremely responsive!”
Once you figure out the type of worry they may be experiencing, your client’s reaction to tech stack changes is going to make a lot more sense! With practice, you can explain what will seem SAFER to them about a proposed change and how it may actually help KICK-START their growth. Change becomes a win-win.
About the Author:
Mix a creative mind with a number-cruncher, then throw in a dash of New York City attitude and what do you get? Kelly Gonsalves – a true entrepreneur that is all in, all the time. Her first endeavor began just five years ago when Kelly founded Totally Booked (™). The purpose: to assist every small business in becoming more profitable by utilizing efficient accounting processes. She soon followed up by founding Totally SEO, a boutique service for the accounting industry and co-founding Leading Lady Machine Works, a project devoted to making swag better for companies and the accounting community at large.
Kelly is a QuickBooks Advanced Certified ProAdvisor (™), a member of the Intuit Trainer Writer Network, a HubDoc Top 50 Cloud Accountant, on Avalara’s Social Media Top 100, an Insightful Accountant Top 10 ProAdvisor, as well as the host of Insightful Accountant’s QB Talks: App Neighbourhood Watch.
When Kelly isn’t busy starting and growing companies, making merch, and engaging with the community, she loves to cook, paddle-board, and chase after her dog, Nina.