Is there anything more frustrating than spending time and money on new accounting software only to meet resistance? Thankfully, there are ways that you make the transition to new technology smoother. 

The accounting industry has undergone a tech transformation in recent years. It is highly likely that a client, who may have last used an accountant ten or fifteen years ago, may be completely unused to new technology and either be reluctant to change old habits, or just sceptical. 

In this post, we will share ways you can first understand the cause of the resistance and look to ensure a smooth transition to new, more efficient ways of working. 

1. Understand the root of resistance

There are multiple reasons why a client might be resistant to new technology. They may have last used an accountant ten or fifteen years ago, back when bringing in bags of receipts was the norm. New technology, such as receipt scanning or anti-money laundering software, may raise questions on security, implications of new technology, or an attachment to old ways of doing things. 

If you notice that you’re coming against resistance, have an open conversation – preferably face-to-face, or over a video call, to understand their apprehensions. Recognising and empathetically responding to these worries will help give them context. 

2. Provide a live demo or pilot

When showing the new technology to a client for the first time, remember to focus on the benefits. Show clients a walk-through of how tools like cloud-based accounting software offer real-time data access, enhancing decision-making and opening the door to advanced insights. If possible, align the benefits to your clients’ business goals to show how they specifically contribute to their success. 

3. Offer training and support

Tailor your training to your clients’ proficiency levels. Offer practical, user-friendly training and ensure ongoing support through resources like user manuals, FAQs, and online tutorials. Another way to offer this at scale is through pre-recording ‘how to’ videos on Loom, and sharing these on demand or uploading to a client’s dashboard. 

4. Demonstrate the return on investment (ROI) for the client

Show clients clear examples of the technology’s efficiency, using anecdotal case studies or comparative analyses to illustrate the time saved, improvements in data accuracy or even opportunities to drive more revenue. If possible, refer to customer success stories that your clients can see themselves in. 

5. Accept that change may take time

Change management is an often overlooked yet key part of introducing any new technology.  

Be comfortable in the fact that changing client habits may take longer than expected. Implement a gradual transition plan so that your clients can adapt to the new technology at a comfortable pace, while managing your internal expectations.  

Regular check-ins, feedback sessions, and iterative training can all play a part of this plan. Be sure to also acknowledge and celebrate small milestones in tech adaption, reinforcing positive experiences and gradual progress. 

A quick summary 

Effectively managing client resistance to new technology involves a multi-faceted approach, from understanding the root cause of the resistance to implementing change management strategies. 

By empathetically addressing your clients’ concerns, highlighting the client benefits, providing training, demonstrating efficiency, and managing the change progress, you can guide clients through the transition. Ultimately, every step towards a more efficient way of working is one step towards increased growth, profitability or work life balance for you and your client. 

Here at Bright, our award-winning suite of software is designed to streamline your accounting tasks, from payroll to practice management. If you’re looking for tools to help enhance client communication when implementing new tech, explore our client toolkit below for valuable tips, resources, and best practice guides. If you’d like to learn more about our software, just book a no-obligation demo of our solutions below.