Overcoming Stakeholder Challenges to Adopting New Technology

By Jeannie Ruesch.

Congratulations! After a diligent search course of, you discovered the know-how answer that can meet many or most of your accounting agency’s wants; nonetheless, that is solely the primary a part of the method. Now that you just’ve recognized the suitable answer, it’s time to implement it. Adopting new applied sciences comes with its personal challenges—however with the suitable technique, you may make this a part of the method a bit smoother.

A Common Challenge

At a current webinar for accountants on kickstarting a CAS observe with invoice pay automation, individuals have been requested in regards to the greatest boundaries to introducing new know-how at their corporations. There was consensus that the most important barrier was getting all events on board, and this encompassed agency management and workers in addition to purchasers. This mirrors what we’ve seen in current Bill.com analysis, displaying that the problem is pretty widespread throughout the board. This ought to present aid to any agency nervous that this was distinctive to them—as a result of a shared, widespread problem means a shared curiosity in an answer.

Leadership Alignment at Your Firm

Getting management buy-in is an important step to any tech implementation.  You want an government sponsor to assist shepard this modification via – and the bigger your organization, the extra necessary that sponsor is. However, it’s  possible your management staff gained’t be the day-to-day customers of this tech, so the important thing right here will probably be to present how adopting new know-how will improve your agency’s backside line. Be ready to show which processes will probably be enhanced and the way this ties again to profit the agency. This may embrace:

  • Time and sources saved due to elevated effectivity
  • Reduction of errors as soon as guide processes are automated
  • More correct and/or well timed reporting

Additionally, make sure to spotlight any new strains of income that would outcome from implementing new know-how. For instance, if workers are in a position to give attention to higher-value work or have extra time for upskilling, does this enable the agency to provide new providers? It can also be worthwhile to acknowledge how a shift away from extra menial duties to a extra fulfilling workload may positively affect your agency’s expertise retention and recruitment efforts.

Leadership alignment isn’t only a hurdle for accounting corporations — it’s additionally a ache level on your purchasers. In a survey that Bill.com not too long ago carried out with Wakefield, 34% of respondents — on this case CFOs, finance VPs and Controllers — listed management not making the required funding as a know-how ache level.

Securing Staff Understanding and Support

The greatest method to get your workers onboard with a deliberate tech adoption is to incorporate the rules of a powerful change administration method. Start by creating an in depth plan for introducing this new know-how and rolling it out at your agency. This ought to embrace the next:

Craft the suitable announcement.

If you may have the suitable method when saying this modification, new know-how is one thing that could possibly be thrilling! Rather than instantly stepping into the weeds, focus first on how this can profit the members of your staff. Keep in thoughts that the advantages could also be totally different based mostly on the function of every staff member: whereas manager-level workers could also be extra enthusiastic about how this know-how will affect consumer relationships, junior workers may need to know the way this implementation will make their job simpler.

We’ve heard anecdotally from many accounting corporations that after their workers understood how new know-how was going to scale back the quantity of guide and/or repetitive work they have been answerable for, the modifications have been instantly relatable and staff members have been way more receptive.

Find your champions.

Identifying key staff members who can act as cheerleaders on your new tech will assist preserve morale all through the adoption course of. Being a real champion, nonetheless, goes a step farther than simply having a optimistic perspective. Empower your workers to change into aware of how the know-how works and the way it may be greatest utilized to meet your agency’s wants.

It is important to have your staff aligned and up-to-speed earlier than new know-how is launched to purchasers, particularly staff members who’re on the entrance strains of consumer engagement. Client notion of the modifications you’re implementing will probably be influenced by how your workers feels, so that you’ll need to be conveying a tone of confidence and positivity.

Many know-how options provide superior coaching and/or certifications for his or her merchandise. This is a chance for staff members to carve out new roles for themselves as official or unofficial tech “consultants”—which not solely gives a useful resource for people who want extra steering, but additionally offers these champions a way of possession and a stake within the course of, which may help with expertise retention.

Plan, plan and plan once more.

Review and refine day-to-day processes to account for the place new applied sciences will play a job. Empower staff members to weigh in on the method, and take into account how one can align worker pursuits with the wants of the agency. Once a proposed course of has been decided, take into account a sluggish rollout that leaves time to tweak the method earlier than the change is 100% flipped.

One method to do that is to beta take a look at the brand new course of with a small variety of trusted purchasers. This gives workers with an opportunity to enhance their familiarity with the know-how earlier than it’s carried out extra broadly, together with figuring out preliminary ache factors and creating some early greatest practices.

Also be ready for the inevitable momentary lack of manufacturing as your workers will get ramped up – that is regular. If you put together for it and assist them perceive it’s coming and anticipated, you’ll give you the option to work via it collectively as they study new workflows and new methods of serious about and doing their jobs.

Getting Clients to Use New Technology

Similar to how necessary method is along with your inside staff, cautious consideration whenever you announce new know-how to your purchasers can create pleasure and acceptance when carried out correctly. Your agency is a trusted associate on your purchasers, and this modification is only one method you’re showcasing your ongoing dedication to effectively assembly your purchasers’ wants. Keep the next elements of a powerful announcement in thoughts.

  • Messaging: Create aligned messaging relating to new know-how, together with an understanding of what it’s, the worth it brings to purchasers, and why your agency is making the change. Clients ought to have a transparent understanding of how this know-how will improve and simplify the providers you present.
  • Open Dialogue: This is a chance to reinforce your purchasers’ belief in your agency – present that you realize them, and their ache factors, and that you just’re dedicated to assuaging them in essentially the most environment friendly method doable.
  • Provide Support: Clients ought to really feel supported all through the implementation course of, so make it very clear in case your agency plans to present coaching or sources. Training purchasers on new software program is a win-win: you possibly can showcase tech experience and construct stronger consumer relationships and on the identical time guarantee purchasers are getting onboarded sooner and (hopefully) simpler.
  • Timing: Just like workers will want time to regulate, enable time for purchasers to digest this data and ask questions earlier than the know-how is rolled out. The aim right here is to be as versatile and accommodating as doable.  The very last thing you need is for purchasers to really feel like this modification was sprung on them.

In the identical Bill.com survey talked about above, 40% of the finance leaders we surveyed acknowledged that they’re planning to automate monetary processes in 2022. This gives a possibility for accounting corporations to act as a guiding hand for his or her purchasers through the decision-making and implementation course of.

A Steady Hand for a Steady Adoption

There’s no silver bullet answer that’s going to resolve your whole wants—but. In the meantime, it is vital to maintain innovating and to be certain that all stakeholders impacted by the options you select to implement stay knowledgeable and reassured that your agency has their greatest pursuits in thoughts when it comes to new know-how.


Jeannie Ruesch is the senior director of selling at Bill.com and has been within the accounting business for greater than seven years. She beforehand labored at Xero and The Sleeter Group. She has greater than 20 years’ expertise in model creation and technique, design, social media growth, demand gen, and buyer advertising and marketing. She’s a tech geek at coronary heart, an creator, an award-winning graphic designer, and loves discovering methods to assist prospects resolve issues.


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