Message from the Editor
welcome to the May issue of the Conficio newsletter. This month we introduce our new service "Plan-B for Accountants". This service enables accountants to answer effectively the frequently asked questions of their clients. In a technical article, we discuss the "Requirements to Install Plan-B Screencasts". We are sure you will enjoy this month's topics.
As always, please let us know how we are doing. We value your comments and feedback and look forward to hearing from you.
Many accountants recommend QuickBooks® or other software packages to their small business customers. Intuit, the maker of QuickBooks and market leader, has built an extensive network of QuickBooks Pro Advisers® endorsing and supporting the software. As a result, clients turn to their CPA for technical support, instead of calling Intuit's expensive support hotline.
Often, accountants perform technical support, instead of accounting or business consulting. They spend their valuable time helping clients to use the software. It increasingly becomes a no fun task, as a few questions come up repeatedly. Employees tread these tasks and it is hard to bill them accurately to the client. That is, where Plan-B for accountants is a smart solution. Today's graphical user interfaces, make it challenging to walk someone through a particular task on the phone , for example "How to create a new credit card account" in QuickBooks. It requires many questions back and forth and often the task is performed on both sides of the phone connection.
"Why"?" you ask, "why do so many accountants walk their customers through menus and dialogs over the phone? Can't they just refer to the manual or the on line help file?" Experience shows, that written handbooks are cumbersome and badly indexed. After some initial browsing, they are usually tucked away in a bookshelf and are never accessed again. Most users, including accountants, have given up on help files all together. Help files are written in a very specific language that does not match the words a user would use. It is hard to find anything if you do not speak the expert language. In addition, help files explain things in writing that are supposed to happen in the context of a graphical user interface. For example, you are instructed to select dialog XYZ from ABC-menu, but the text does not explain how to get there. In one sentence, help files have the same challenges as the accountant on the phone, with no one to ask for help.
Plan-B is different, it shows an exact recording of the software application, making lengthy descriptions unnecesary. Guiding through a visual interface using video - a visual medium - lets users grasp the task at hand much faster. Each Plan-B screencast answers a single question that the accountant frequently faces. This ensures that the accountant provides the individualized service his clients expect. Plan-B screencasts are played directly from the accountant's website, side by side with the live software program. They are available in the right context and 24 hours/7 days a week, whenever the client does the bookkeeping. Clients solve their problem independent from the accountant being available.
Today, the accounting profession faces increasing competition. Saving time and money is a priority to stay competitive. Plan-B for accountants does exactly that, by utilizing the power of the Internet for small businesses. In addition, it does retain clients and attracts new clients by demonstrating the unique and superior QuickBooks support and service an accountant can provide.
Many customers are surprised, how simple it is, to install Plan-B screencasts. Everyone, who can build a website, can integrate Plan-B technology. It does not require learning a scripting language or special multi media servers. It is as simple as 1, 2, 3:
- Unzip the delivery archive into a directory.
- Copy the pre-generated HTML snippets into your page that will contain the Plan-B screencast.
- Link all new generated pages into your navigation menu and test it.
Upload the changes to your web server and you are done. Experienced web masters do install their first Plan-B screencast in less than 30 minutes. Each additional page takes about 10 minutes.
We highly recommend protecting your valuable new asset with a password. After all, you do not want to provide technical support to everybody who happens to find your website in Google™, don't you? You make this investment to serve your customers and you want to restrict access to them. Protecting a folder on your website with a password is handled differently by different web-hosting services. Your web master will know how to do this or technical support from your hosting company will help you.
In summary, you will need:
- Your website served by any standard web-server.
- Basic knowledge of HTML and the ability to cut and paste some HTML code to the right place.
- Optionally, but recommended, the ability to protect a sub folder of your website with a password
If you have any further questions, do not hesitate to drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are here to help you.