Technology – ignore it at your peril

At an international conference of  accountants recently I was told the following story:

“A partner in a top twenty firm of accountants had a meeting with a prospective new client. After the usual pleasantries had been exchanged, the partner opened his notepad – removed the top of his fountain pen and sat poised ready to take notes of the meeting. The client looked at him aghast – ‘If this is the way you still take notes’, he said, ‘you are not the accountants for me!’ And with that he got up and left.”

Now the story may be apocryphal, and, if true, the client’s attitude was extreme, even for me who embraces technology in all its forms. But it does make a valid point.

Technology is very much a major part of our lives and as professionals in practice we have to be aware that it is also a major part of the lives of prospective clients. Our willingness to adopt technology shows that as professionals we can keep up to date and make use of new ideas to enhance and improve our processes and add value to the services that we provide our clients.

It says a lot about the way we operate and the way we view business processes as a whole. It recognises the fact that today’s entrepreneurs use Twitter, Facebook and the Cloud as an extension to their right arm and expect their professional advisors to have the same views.

It is for this reason that using the Cloud as a major part of the IT infrastructure makes the statement that a practice is operating in 2012 – not 1812 – and is well placed to deal with the demands of today.

And the growth of technology is inbred from a very early age. Someone told me the other day that their three year old, when looking at a book (yes – a real book!), turns the pages by making a touch and flick motion as if turning the electronic pages on an iPad.

Scary – maybe – but an example as to how technology is inbred in us from the start.

And for those who are still reluctant about change, the following quote from Charles Darwin sort of sums it up:

“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent. It is the one that is most adaptable to change.”

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