- The way the world does business has changed fundamentally in the past five years
- Companies that have been quick to deliver on connectedness have reaped the benefits
- Agile small businesses have had a rapid uptake of cloud-based systems
Richard Puffe, Senior Project Manager, Tax & Accounting, Thomson Reuters
Connectedness is now part of everyday life as the way the world does business has changed fundamentally in the past five years.
The convenience of digital systems and mobility people now expect in their personal lives is dictating our business dealings.
The efficiencies created by these systems mean accountants can now spend less time doing data entry, compiling documents and focusing on compliance.
The companies that have been quick to deliver on this demand have reaped the benefits of improved communication, efficiencies, increased productivity and a boost to the bottom line.
This has not only improved customer experience but has been useful in attracting and retaining the best talent.
SMEs driving change in accounting practices
Desktop accounting systems have been used by firms for many years, but the small to medium enterprises have been among the first to adopt cloud-based accounting programs.
Agile small businesses, with time-poor owners have had a rapid uptake of these systems and they have experienced the benefits of being able to see their real-time financial status at a glance.
This has been a catalyst for adoption of cloud-based accounting software in the accounting profession and shifted the business model of small firms from compliance to advisory services.
The efficiencies created by these systems mean accountants can now spend less time doing data entry, compiling documents and focusing on compliance, and more time analysing figures to give business owners advice on how to improve their businesses.
Mobility also means accountants can visit clients, get valuable contact time to build relationships and possibly offer additional services.
Adopt and adapt
As with many technologies, there will be some people who will choose not to adopt and adapt, taking a 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it' approach, mostly for fear of change.
The risks of doing this are great.
Not only will firms that stick with desktop software limit the clients they attract, ultimately, they won't be able to compete. It's not a matter of competing with big firms, but other small firms that have evolved will attract the most clients.
Employees also want to build their careers in firms that demonstrate best practice. Graduates, in particular, expect to use the latest technologies, which can be a way to attract and retain great talent.
The government has also committed to supporting digital transformation and the trickle-down effect of this is starting to change the way some businesses are compelled to operate.
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