This guest post is written by Jody Padar, the Author of "Radical CPA", whose been featured in Accounting Today, Accounting Web, and customer of Jetpack WorkflowJobs, Tasks, and Calendar! Oh My! Using the cloud will totally rock your world. Cloud technology (and using it well) fundamentally changes the relationship and communication expectations with your customer and within your firm. This is one of the key factors of disruption to your practice. But remember, it's not the software itself that is disruptive - most cloud applications are just like any on-premise platforms. The key difference, however, is that everyone can see the latest version of the software and data in real time. Think for a minute about the impact of such a change. It's that real time that creates the chaos within the firm. This chaos is not necessarily a bad thing, but it becomes critical for the firm to rethink 100 percent of its processes for delivering financial statements and consulting engagements. Embrace the Disruption Many CPAs view chaos as failure. It’s not. It’s a learning opportunity and a chance to put things in order with improvements to the process. Revamping your workflow while working in the cloud can reduce this chaos, make your firm more profitable, create a more enjoyable place to work, and absolutely delight your customers. But you have to start thinking differently. Think about how you would map the steps or phases in a project or how your "old school" file would float around your office, making stops at each person's desk for their mark. Each one of these stops becomes a task checked off and one step closer to a completed job. The calendar view in Jetpack Workflow? allows you to see everything on your to-do list. These tasks or jobs can be reviewed on your calendar depending on the view you choose or your role in the firm. This is how work moves through a firm and gives oversight to everything that needs to be done. This tool also makes sure you get it done in a timely matter or for it's correct due date. Now, you might think it’s hard to schedule work like this if you are waiting on a customer, however if you live in an automated QuickBooks Online, Xero, or Sage Live world it’s actually quite easy. Why? It's because you are no longer waiting for information. Add in Hubdoc, which automagically pulls your bank statements and you are no longer waiting on a customer for information. Believe me when I tell you, it's pretty amazing. This way of working has transformed my firm and I know it can transform yours. Today, with all of our business in the cloud, we can aggregate all the information in one place. Bank statements are automatically pulled into an online portal each month, eliminating the need for us to chase customers to mail the statements to us. That may look like an efficiency process, but it is more than that. It is a process designed with the customer experience in mind. Instead of investing our time in nagging the customer, we can delight them by reconciling their bank statements without any action required by them. We make it easy for them. And they appreciate it. Process Matters Process is a very big deal when the customer is at the center of everything you do. If you're like most CPA, you want to provide the very best service with the most ease at the best price. Have you looked at your processes lately? Chances are, they can be improved upon – especially as we wind down the year. Think about the tools you are using? Are you using a tool like Jetpack Workflow to help you? We do. And it's been invaluable. Depending on the size of your firm, you may have multiple partners using multiple digital tools and processes. In most mid-sized firms, there isn’t a managing partner to set standards and getting agreement between partners can sometimes be challenging. Setting standards for tools and processes can lead to better performance from employees and higher retention of good employees. The most important outcome, however, is a better customer experience. And because our process is now managing workflow instead of time we can make sure everything moves along the way it should - always improving along the way.