Re-Learning the Lingo of the Accounting Business

PatilNew tech solutions require new thinking.

By Hitendra Patil
Pransform Inc.

It's tough enough to keep up with the new technical developments in taxes and accounting, but practitioners are also grappling with a whole new vocabulary in technology.

If you're not speaking the new lingo, you risk losing the millennials you work with and mystifying some of your clients and prospects.

For instance: In the distant past, you "bought" a “software license," “received” a CD and then “installed” the software on your “desktop.” But now, you go to the “cloud” to “activate” your “subscriptions” to the “software as a service."

What did your customers do in the past to find you and meet you and then start working with you?

  • They “heard” about you and your services from their friends, relatives and acquaintances.
  • They “saw” your office driving by.
  • They “called” you on your office phone to find out more about you.
  • They “traveled” to your office to meet you “face to face” to get started with your service.

What do they do now?

  • They “Google” you.
  • They “look you up” on "LinkedIn."
  • They “see” you on “Facebook”
  • They “learn” about you from social media, the Web and your “social network.”

The list can go on.

The words associated with accounting technology have been changing and your clients’ lingo has been changing.

So what words would you, as an accountant, want to start using to survive the onslaught of expectations of your new generation of clients?

Then Now
Send me your bank statement I have your bank-feed
Here’s your financial statement Log on to portal to access your financial statement.
Here’s your tax return Log on to portal to access your tax return.
Call me FaceTime me. Meet me at HangOuts….
Sign this and mail it back to me  eSign this and you are done
I will email… I will upload…
Send me a check Click here to pay online


These are just a few examples to get you started.

If you identify and analyze all your customer touchpoints, you will see that everything needs to be reworded.

  • Would your customers “buy” your service or “subscribe” to it?
  • Would your customers sign an “engagement letter” or “agree to terms and conditions” online?
  • Would your customers “receive” reports from you or “access” them online?
  • Would your firm have an “address” or will it be “national?”
  • Would your customers get information in your “office time” or will it be “always on”?

4 Responses to “Re-Learning the Lingo of the Accounting Business”

  1. Jordan Zoot, CPA

    Ahh…..does Pransform have an SOC Type 3 audit performed so its CPA firm customers know what they are buying?

  2. Jordan Zoot, CPA

    Let me try a new one…if your firm performs virtual services you should be subject to a SOC Type III audit and have report published as part of peer review.

  3. Hitendra R. Patil

    Thanks, Sammie! One CPA told me that she just “listens to” the banter of her teenaged kids to know the “lingo of the millennials!”. What is the one new word that you are using often now?

  4. Sammie

    This is a really good blog about what words and phrases are around now compared to a few years ago. I really enjoyed reading it.