Do-It-Yourself Technology Solutions for CPAs

by Susan Firriolo, CPA, CISA, Pet Rescue 990 Project | March 15, 2021

CPAs are increasingly gathering on social media to solve problems and share experiences. They are using application programming interfaces (APIs) to link processes, robotic process automation (RPA) to automate repetitive tasks, cloud accounting software (CAS) to provide high quality client services and offshore teams to free themselves up for higher level consulting. Even non-technical CPAs have gotten into the mix and no longer have to rely solely on expensive developers to get digital solutions for their practice.

When automating tasks, it’s best to identify the process, document it and pinpoint what is inefficient or repetitive. Then look for or build an application to perform the task. Here are a few platforms worth mentioning:

  • Clubhouse is a new kind of social media app that lets users host and join conversations. Currently, membership is by invitation and only offered on iPhones. Clubhouse is unique because it has real-time audio — no pictures, videos or text. When the app is opened, members are in something like a school hallway. There is a list of rooms and participants. Members can tap on a room to drop in on a conversation — but nothing is recorded after the conversation ends. CPAs may find Clubhouse useful for talking to other accountants working on the same things. CPAs can also use the app to start a room and share their expertise.
  • NoCode 3.0 is a guide to free and discounted resources to build apps. The website also has how-to articles and lessons on developing tools for performing analytics, designing mobile apps, automating work, manipulating data, creating surveys and much more. Like the name implies, NoCode users do not need to know how to code to use these resources. CPAs can browse non-technical tools to integrate into their practice.
  • UCalc is a platform where users can build calculators and forms. There are free and paid plans depending on the number of projects and advanced features needed. Users can start with a template or build their own calculator. CPAs can put a calculator on their website or social media or in messaging apps where they can provide a useful resource for their clients and prospects while tracking user engagement.
  • ElectroNeek is an RPA platform where users create robots (bots). The website offers free tools and paid subscriptions. CPAs can create a bot to perform repetitive, input-driven tasks that otherwise could not be completed profitably. They no longer have to deal with a whole suite of accounting software that is supposed to be integrated but nobody understands how it works. With RPA, CPAs can customize their own bots to work with legacy software, automate client services and improve internal processes.

These are just some of the resources available to CPAs. Keep looking — there are hundreds that can be used without writing code. Don’t get left behind.

Susan  Firriolo

Susan Firriolo

Susan Firriolo, CPA, CISA, is the director and founder of Pet Rescue 990 Project, which provides online tax and advisory services for pet rescue 501(c)(3) organizations. She is a member of several NJCPA interest groups.

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