Transformative or Transactional Technology Mindset? How the Answer Determines the Success of Your Accounting Firm

Gaynor Meilke
Chief Marketing Officer, Insightful Accountant

Business, Practice Management, Technology, Accounting

accounting-firm-technology

Technology has never played a more important role in supporting the strategic goals of progressive accounting firms. Yet many decisions are still being made with a transactional rather than a transformative mindset, which can seriously undermine any potential benefit How do the two approaches differ and what is the impact of one over the other on the future success of your firm?

Start with the “why”: transformative vs. transactional technology acquisitions

When a transactional technology mindset is in play during the evaluation process for your firm’s tech stack, more time is spent scoping out the specifications of the solution in question rather than aligning it with the actual organizational goal you are trying to achieve.

In contrast, when a transformative technology mindset is used to evaluate potential solutions, the focus is on determining how the particular application will help you achieve larger organizational goals such as serving more clients, preserving as many billable hours as possible, or adding a new and profitable services, for example.

The shift from thinking solely about the “what and how” of technology selection and adoption, to a more strategic approach, starts with your firm determining the “why” at the core of the decision. Consider the following “whys” related to the implementation of a practice management solution

Creating market differentiation

While many firms attempt to sell themselves on the service level they provide, it is often a superficial premise that breaks down when client expectations fail to be met at some point in the onboarding or service delivery process. Applying technology solutions, such as a comprehensive practice management system to solve this issue is the key to leveraging the competitive advantages of a truly client-centric service model.

Leveraging new service opportunities

Having a clear vision for how your client journey should unfold and how it is implemented tactically in your firm is key. This requires a more strategic approach and paves the way for implementing solutions such as a practice management system to capture key metrics about the growth in each service line with an “operations snapshot” to inform more effective planning for your firm.


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Creating a culture of employee empowerment

Having formal onboarding processes, client service protocols, policies and procedures for digital and in-person interactions is a critical part of empowering employees to proactively care for your and look for new service opportunities. This is a goal that would not be part of a “transactional” evaluation model, yet it has a major impact on the future success of your firm. This is why adopting a big-picture view of how your tech stack impacts the overall client experience is critical when looking at potential new additions to it.

Improved client retention

In order to deliver a truly seamless and extraordinary level of service that exceeds your client expectations, it is essential to have the technology tools to support it. Keep this thought in mind, particularly if you are evaluating client management, customer relationship management, and comprehensive practice management solutions because these systems do much more than simply store client data, they can provide a key component in elevating all client service interactions. Helping you achieve your client satisfaction and retention goals.

Effective and efficient practice management

Thinking about the way technology could evolve your firm, directly supports a firm culture where the focus on strategic planning and practice management drive higher levels of success. By viewing technology investments as conduits that help your firm exceed goals for profitability, workflow efficiency and service revenue, you can more easily understand which applications will take your firm to the next level.

Adopting a transformative rather than transactional mindset as you make technology purchase decisions allows you to assign clear organizational goals to each potential addition to your firm’s tech stack. Doing so will enable your firm to maximize the financial investment made in each solution. Ultimately, this shift creates the framework for building a better practice and solid, long-term success for your firm.

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Gaynor Meilke

Gaynor Meilke
Chief Marketing Officer, Insightful Accountant

Gaynor Meilke is the Chief Marketing Officer at Insightful Accountant, a digital technology and practice management news resource for the accounting profession. She is a certified business coach and has over 20 years of experience in providing business strategy and B2B marketing services to professional services firms in the accounting and finance sectors.