Globalization is changing the face of accounting the world over.
With this change comes an inevitable set of challenges that are being seen by accounting professionals worldwide.
Xero’s Global Vice President of Education and US Head of Accounting, Amy Vetter, spoke on this very topic today at Xerocon in San Francisco in a presentation titled “We say Z, They Say Zed”.
In the talk, she highlighted the need for today’s accounting professionals to take a global approach to doing business.
Vetter was inspired to dive deeper into this topic after visiting accountants and accounting firms abroad. She noted it was like looking in a mirror when speaking with her international counterparts. All of them echoed the same sentiments when it came to hiring, marketing, client retention and more.
Vetter noted that the immersion of the cloud has brought down geographic borders. More and more accounting professionals are diligently moving towards thinking globally and acting locally.
“Accounting firms started looking at how to network with each other and their clients, because they were having business relationships beyond their marketplaces,” Vetter recalls. “It was very eye opening to see them willing to try new things.”
There is still a level of apprehension with some U.S. accountants when it comes to moving away from the way they are used to doing things and thinking outside the box.
“You start going, wow,” Vetter says. “Even if you’re in a small business advisory practice, it’s really cool how it’s not just about the United States anymore. That’s what America was founded on – taking risks, trying new things and being entrepreneurial.”
Vetter says when firms are willing to change their existing protocols and systems to take on a broader client base location-wise, it inherently future-proofs the business.
“The people who are willing to do this will eventually – and can – take your customers, because you’re not going to be ready,” Vetter says.
She says no longer can firms think of their clients as the business down the road or a short drive away, building their client base is going to rely on breaking down physical barriers and mediums.
“Having a larger network is going to be important, and not just in your immediate area,” Vetter says. It’s going to be more about marketing yourself and showing your expertise to people who can find you.”
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