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4 key considerations for building a modern accounting tech stack

accounting tech stack
By Sylva Sivz, BComm. Reviewed by: James Rose. Last Updated April 27, 2024

Whether you work for an accounting firm or run your own practice, you no doubt already rely on certain accounting technology to help you work more efficiently and speed up your output.

New accounting software and apps are getting released faster than ever before. With that, knowing which tools to incorporate into your accounting firm's tech stack for an optimal workflow can be tricky. In this post, we’ll cover a few key considerations for building an accounting tech stack that works best for you. We’ll also share a few resources on accounting software worth exploring.

There’s no time to waste when it comes to getting more efficient, so let’s dive in!

What is an accounting firm tech stack anyway?

An accounting tech stack is a combination of accounting software a firm or accountant uses to streamline their work and automate financial processes like bookkeeping, internal project management, invoicing, or tax return preparation. 

Every firm’s accounting tech stack will look a bit different and there’s certainly no right or wrong. Building your accounting tech stack ultimately comes down to what works best for you and your accounting firm’s workflow. 

It’s not uncommon for accounting firms to use comprehensive solutions like Xero or QuickBooks Online to manage most of their operations, supplemented by specialized tools for tasks like data collection and expense management.

Accounting tech stack

How do I decide what software to include in an accounting firm's tech stack?

So where’s a good place to start if you’re in the process of building out your tech stack or refreshing your current one?

Here are a few considerations pulled from an insightful YouTube video on this very topic by Jason Daily

1. Decide which software is going to be the backbone of your firm 

First, ask yourself which practice management software is the most essential to running your firm. This is the software that your firm basically cannot do its job without. This will be your legacy tax software or bookkeeping software like: 

Knowing which software will be at the heart of your firm helps put your next choices into perspective because you’ll need to confirm that they integrate well with this primary software. 

If you’re just getting started with any of these platforms, we recommend doing as deep a dive as possible into their features through a free trial or demo if these options are available. You have to be absolutely certain that the tool can perform as you expect so that you don’t end up purchasing additional tools later on to solve multiple problems that your primary software is failing at. 

Secondly, we highly advise you to read through product reviews before you make your choice. G2 and Capterra are the best places to get unbiased reviews from fellow accounting firms. Spending time reading the reviews will not only help you identify the pros and cons but you might even discover some very suitable software you hadn’t heard of just yet. 

2. How does your accounting tech stack consider the client experience? 

One mistake many accounting firms make is that they tend to laser-focus on ways they can improve their accounting workflows without taking a second to consider whether or not they’re also investing in ways to make their clients’ lives easier too.

At the end of the day, one of the things that matters the most is how you deliver value to your clients to be able to justify the price of your services. So as you review your accounting firm tech stack or look for new tools to add to it, remember to review the tool through the lens of the client experience.

Client collaboration

Let’s say you use XPM’s Xero Ask feature to streamline your tax preparation services. How easy is it for the client to use on the other side? Do they repeatedly email you asking questions about how to use the platform? Do you experience common delays in getting information back from them? Or do you consistently receive the wrong information from them? 

All of these are telling signs that you might want to look for something that delivers a superior client experience. 

To give you a more specific idea of what we’re talking about, we published a blog comparing the client-side features of Xero Ask vs Content Snare. The post explores how features like auto-reminders, accounting templates, one-click access, and approve/reject features can help deliver a superior client experience when responding to your request. 

Give it a read here: Xero Ask vs. Content Snare for Accountants: A Comparison

Collect client files and documents easily with Content Snare 

Built for simplicity and designed with the client experience in mind, Content Snare is a popular tool accounting firms use to streamline client intake, tax preparation, and more. 

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3. Is the accounting software you’re investing in evolving to anticipate your needs?

One thing to consider when you invest in your accounting firm’s tech stack is whether the tools you’re investing in are constantly bringing you updates to bring you the intuitive features that you need. 

As you explore tools to add to your accounting firm tech stack, you might come across accounting software that has more or less stayed the same over the past several years. While this might work, you ideally don’t want to invest in tools that are going to limit your options in the future. 

To build a modern accounting tech stack, it’s always a good idea to invest in tools that are constantly anticipating the needs of your practice to deliver the features and capabilities you didn’t even know you needed. As you evaluate options for accounting functions like client relationship management, expense management, financial reporting, document sharing, capacity management etc, check to see what new features the company has pushed out in the past few months. 

Since AI tools are on the rise helping businesses of all sorts do things faster and smarter, it’s worthwhile to look into providers that are investing their efforts into delivering AI features.

We cover a list of cutting-edge AI tools that can help your accounting firm save time on manual processes, save on costs, and deliver a competitive advantage in our post Getting started with AI in accounting

AI accounting

4. How will your accounting tools integrate? 

The tricky part of building an accounting firm tech stack is making sure that all of your tools play well together! 

As you explore general ledger software, customer relationship management software, expense management tools, or internal communication tools, you should spend some time asking about whether or not they can connect to your primary software to pull the data they need to perform well.

Luckily, leading accounting platforms and developers are so on top of this, doing everything they can to help you improve your workflows between tools. XPM is one of these platforms that integrates seamlessly with tools including FYI Docs, Content Snare, Ignition, Fathom, and BGL. 

We cover how these integrations work in our post, 5 XPM integrations for smarter accounting workflows

Final advice for accounting firms 

Constructing a modern accounting tech stack demands careful consideration of several crucial factors. From ensuring seamless integration to considering the client experience, each of these considerations plays an important role in helping you ensure the best return on your investment 

By meticulously evaluating these considerations and selecting the most suitable technologies, you can look forward to building an accounting firm tech stack that not only meets your needs now, but positions you for future success. 

To discover some of the best accounting technology and automation software on the market today, we recommend giving these posts a read as further research too:

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Are you tired of chasing clients for key information? Join a growing number of accountants worldwide that are using Content Snare to streamline client intake.

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Sylva Sivz

Sylva Sivz is a seasoned copywriter here at Content Snare, based out of Vancouver, Canada. She has spent years working in agency environments and moonlights as a touring house DJ!