Confidence comes from the Latin word “fidere” which means “to trust”. Therefore, having self-confidence is having trust in one’s self.
The cloud can be an intimidating space. And it’s immensely collaborative. We need to have trust in our technology – not just ourselves!
My journey with cloud-based bookkeeping is ongoing, and isn’t without its ups and downs – but the lessons I learn along the way have made me a better business owner. I can say with certainty that feeling confident using cloud accounting software is an integral component of seamless processes and a smooth-running business.
Confidence can be a self-fulfilling prophecy as those without it may fail or not try because they lack it and those with it may succeed because they have it rather than because of an innate ability.
Sounds simple, doesn’t it?
“Just because it’s simple does not mean it’s easy.” – Warren Buffet
Confidence takes work and has three building blocks: knowledge, preparation, and healthy relationships.
1. Knowledge – Be Smart
“I would encourage you: be informed – knowledge is power”. – Matt Bevin
Take heart, you can’t know it all! Here are some smart tips to get you started:
Determine the app features that will help you achieve desired outcomes
Cloud applications are a relationship, similar to ones you have with family and friends. You are interacting with them, you are involved with them regularly, and they impact how your day goes. Not only should you be satisfied with an app’s features, but how intuitive you find the user experience.
- Stick to learning and utilizing as few apps as you need and get to know them very well.
- Then, and only then, branch out. Get excited, ask, explore. But be wary of SAAS (shinny app attraction syndrome)
- Here is my list of 4 essential apps for cloud accounting.
Earn certifications or become an app partner
Learn the ins and outs of an app to take your credibility to new heights! Being involved with an app partner will help boost your confidence and further your knowledge about the app. Here are some apps that have partner programs:
It can pay to be a data security pro. Many apps offer referral rewards or partner reward programs for qualified ambassadors for their product. Do your research, and don’t leave a potential revenue stream behind!
2. Preparation – Think Like A Boy Scout
“A scout must prepare himself by previous thinking and practicing how to act on any accident or emergency so that he is never taken by surprise”. –Robert Baden-Powell
Be prepared for emergencies but also for situations that may challenge you or others.
I highly recommend practicing 2nd or 3rd location redundancy of data and source documents. This will ensure that data is safe from any disaster.
- Source documents should be in a receipt management app, a storage folder hosted and controlled by your client, ideally in an accounting program.
Suggestion: ReceiptBank is my app of choice.
- Use a backup app for your cloud programs wherever possible, because you are held responsible for your clients’ data.
Suggestion: Rewind can be used to back up QuickBooks Online, ecommerce platforms such as Shopify and BigCommerce, development platforms such as GitHub, and productivity tools such as Trello (to name a few!)
- Use 2-factor authorization wherever possible.
Suggestion: Google Authenticator is a great tool.
- Use a password protector program.
Tech and internet failures will likely happen when you least expect it or when you are not prepared. Be out ahead of this possibility.
- Have a secondary source of internet data (hotspot your phone…) or other activities planned for internet outages.
- Test your secondary source of internet data before you need it.
- Manage your clients’ expectations if they miss deadlines and push you to last-minute scrambles.
- Systemize your processes and test the heck out of them.
- Decide what the impact of automation fails would be – if the consequences are high and the efficiency benefit is low, don’t automate
3. Healthy Relationships – Don’t Be An Island
“Find someone to help you paddle”. -Admiral McRaven
Going through business alone is no fun. Here are some easy ways you can form relationships within the cloud accounting community:
Collaborate on social media and networking groups
Cloud tech companies often have great help chats, videos, and phone support. Don’t hesitate to reach out to them.
- Gives you a great opportunity to learn and become efficient in the app
- Apps want you to feel confident using their product and cared for as much as you want to be looked after
Don’t compare yourself to others
If others seem “all-knowing” and super confident in the cloud tech, they likely had some learning curves – don’t compare your beginning to someone else’s middle.
- Learn from those around you but be fully aware that their business model is different from yours.
An application may seem fantastic at first, but in the end, it may not suit your needs.
- Make sure you have vetted the app thoroughly and that the issues you’re experiencing are not based on how you are using the app, but the app itself.
- Accept the failure, acknowledge that you implemented it using the best information available, with your client’s best interest in mind.
It’s time to get your pom-poms out for the invested parties, such as clients or team members, that need to be engaged in your success!
- If you love the app, chances are your excitement and confidence will roll onto others
Lift others up
We rise by lifting others. Helping others is possibly the biggest boost to your own sense of confidence.
- If you have found success with an application, share your knowledge and experience in your groups.
Ahhh, confidence. That beautiful, seemingly unattainable, intangible attribute.
That “thing” that many of us feel others possess naturally. The feelings of optimism, hope, and the expectation of being able to seamlessly handle situations.
Building confidence takes work and an action plan. Like most things in life, confidence can be learned and built through practice, dedication, and determination.
I repeat (actually Warren repeats)…
“Just because it’s simple does not mean it’s easy.” – Warren Buffet
Kellie is a relentless organizer and believes cloud financial technology is key to organization. An ardent devotee of QuickBooks Online, Kellie is passionate about introducing QuickBooks Online and its app partner programs to accountants and their clients. She now spends much of her day educating accounting firms and SMBs, but loves keeping her head firmly in her bookkeeping clients’ day to day accounting needs as well. Kellie and her husband Jeff, a Fly Fishing Guide, have three grown kids, a puppy and elderly Australian Shepard. She is an avid runner, water and snow skier, and live music fan. Kellie is a proud member of the Intuit Trainer Writer Network.