When a very big accounting firm bought a very small accounting firm, the big company yawned. It was their 9th acquisition in three years, and while Conglomerate Accounting knew that Mom & Pop CPA was a solid purchase, they also knew that they had a lot of work to do. Bringing the tiny shop into the 21st century was going to be painful. (For purposes of this article and to protect the innocent, we have renamed the two companies under discussion.)
The couple who owned the smaller firm was anxious to retire sooner rather than later, but the agreement was that the owners of Mom & Pop CPA would work for Conglomerate Accounting for at least two years. Their only duties were to make sure that Mom & Pop CPA’s client base, the real value of the new purchase, remained intact and happy.
The known attrition rate of clients belonging to a purchased practice exceeds 25% in the first year. Eventually, if these loyal clients decided to stay, they would be introduced to many additional benefits that only a larger company could offer them. From experience, Conglomerate Accounting knew that the best way to keep them was a one-two punch.
- Maintain the atmosphere of that friendly, neighborhood place that their clients had experienced year after year from Mom & Pop CPA.
- WOW them with new technology to make their accounting and communication tasks easier, and yes, exciting.
So, the first call Conglomerate Accounting made after the purchase was to us, Cloud Advantage.
Why? Because Mom & Pop CPA had only one email address for their whole company: Mom&PopCPA@yahoo.com.
This had been their email address since the nineties, and they had never noticed any reason to change it. In fact, they didn’t know they could change it, but tech confusion among professionals in other industries is commonplace.
Most importantly, Mom & Pop CPA never knew that an email address could be anything other than “that same old string of letters, one symbol, and a period”. All they knew was that they typed them out, one letter at a time in the nice address box at the top of the email form and clicked “SEND”… the message would magically “whoosh” away to their clients. They never thought about their client’s inboxes, never thought about their own, and never understood that email had evolved to be something much bigger and more fun.
Furthermore, they never realized that working with social security numbers and tax forms bring a whole new level of liability, and the need for secure email with today’s requirements.
As part of the merger, we at Cloud Advantage migrated the small accounting firm’s email to Office 365. We did it very gently because Mom and Pop were nervous about losing a lifetime of emails (which, of course, isn’t a possibility with our low risk strategies). When Mom and Pop first saw their brand new emails with their own name in front of the @ sign, they were very excited. Immediately, they sent an email to all their clients, friends, and frenemies.
“Dear valued clients,
Hope you all had a great winter!
We have news! We have sold our company Mom & Pop CPA, and have joined the Conglomerate Accounting team. We highly recommend giving Conglomerate Accounting a chance to earn your trust. We will still be happy to come to your home, and as part of the Conglomerate Accounting team, we are excited to offer new advantages that will help you get through the dreaded and ever-looming tax season.
Mom and Pop”
We showed them how their new email accounts now have calendars that actually invite them to meetings automatically, their safe and secure access to Microsoft Office 365 OneDrive for document storage, and, of course, more secure and reliable email. Mom and Pop CPA were also thrilled to know that none of their mail or calendar data was missing.
For more information about the advantages of a custom email domain (just like Mom and Pop did), see this blog.
Interested in knowing more about email hygiene control and malware prevention? There’s a blog for that.
Want to learn more about migrating unusual environments? We wrote about that, too.
Frankie & The Geeks at CloudAdv