Teaching an old dog new tricks

Akron-based Soulsby Accounting Group serves as a virtual accounting department for many corporate clients. The firm’s president, Tracy Soulsby, CPA, says there are several ways for a virtual accountant to help clients adjust to a new way of doing things.

  • Market the concept. Soulsby says prospective clients tend to have a traditional mindset about accounting departments and she works with them to show them the benefits. “It’s just doing it one prospect at a time,” she says.
  • Overcome the transition period. Familiar with their own in-house accounting department, there is an adjustment period when clients make the virtual switch. Soulsby encourages clients to ask questions so they can iron out procedures together.

”Getting them through that initial transition period and helping them ease through it is a bit of a challenge, but we always get through it,” she says.

  • Help clients open up to new ideas. Old ways of doing accounting are not necessarily the fastest, easiest or best.

Soulsby says a client who pays employees weekly and doesn’t do direct deposit could reduce administrative time and cost by changing to semi-monthly payroll and direct deposit.

  • Create systematic procedures. “The more procedures you have in place, the smoother things run,” she says. “Another big benefit of having (procedures) is they’re ready to communicate to the client right away, and we don’t have to reinvent the wheel every time.”

HOW TO REACH: Soulsby Accounting Group, (800) 584-2721 or www.soulsbyaccounting.com