How to: Build a Strategic Technology Plan

Your firm is growing. Your needs are changing. Hiring another accountant is probably an easy sell, but what about investing in technology to help automate tasks and connect with clients? Getting everyone on board with new tech solutions can be a challenge. That’s why a strategic technology plan is a critical component of your firm’s well-being. It can improve operations, help grow profits, and add value to client relationships. And, it can help you prove to the partners the value of the IT resources you’re considering.

In the accounting world, embracing technology requires making a business case. Here’s one bullet point to add to your pitch: Firms that adopt technology early see increased profit growth — up to 13% more growth than mainstream or late adaptors over five years. Here’s how to build your plan.

Tips for Information Technology Success

A strategic technology plan should provide broad direction about how your firm will implement technology over the next three to five years. Here are a few specifics to include:

  • Goals: Outline what you plan to drive with technology—staff retention, profitability, efficiency — as well as how you plan to measure each.
  • Clearly defined scope: Spell out the roles of both internal and outsourced IT resources.
  • Implementation timing: Create a detailed plan for how you will strategically implement and roll out software over time.
  • Training plan: Provide a framework for ongoing and customized training on new technology and current software. Without this critical component, your team won’t be able to take full advantage of the new tools and software you have.

Shoring Up Support

No matter how good your strategic plan is, it’s unlikely to succeed if you haven’t built internal support. Top firms have technology champion teams to advocate for the use of technology and software best practices. They also serve as your go-to resources to field questions about software, technology, and training.

Your firm also should stay connected to your tech and software vendors so you know what’s coming next, can provide feedback, and help drive the direction of the technology solutions they’re able to provide.

Ready to Build a Plan

If you need help with your technology strategy, download the ebook “Managing Information Technology in Accounting Firms.” Get started now.

AUTHOR

Wolters Kluwer Tax and Accounting

Wolters Kluwer Tax and Accounting is a leading provider of software solutions and local expertise that helps tax, accounting, and audit professionals research and navigate complex regulations, comply with legislation, manage their businesses and advise clients with speed, accuracy and efficiency. Wolters Kluwer Tax and Accounting is part of Wolters Kluwer N.V. (AEX: WKL), a global leader in information services and solutions for professionals in the health, tax and accounting, risk and compliance, finance and legal sectors. We help our customers make critical decisions every day by providing expert solutions that combine deep domain knowledge with specialized technology and services. Wolters Kluwer reported 2016 annual revenues of €4.3 billion. The company, headquartered in Alphen aan den Rijn, the Netherlands, serves customers in over 180 countries, maintains operations in over 40 countries and employs 19,000 people worldwide. Wolters Kluwer shares are listed on Euronext Amsterdam (WKL) and are included in the AEX and Euronext 100 indices. Wolters Kluwer has a sponsored Level 1 American Depositary Receipt program. The ADRs are traded on the over-the-counter market in the U.S. (WTKWY).

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