Shift Gears Of Your Accounting Department with Customized Accounting Software.

Shift Gears Of Your Accounting
Shift Gears Of Your Accounting

Technology is changing and in many cases disrupting many industries and influencing the way, business is done.

The accounting and bookkeeping industry is certainly not immune to this with large changes manifesting in the last 5 years as a direct result of new and exciting technological developments.These developments began with the proliferation of cloud accounting as a successor to more traditional desktop-based software and paper-based work.

Not to sound like too much of a Xerox-sponsored echo chamber, we have really been the catalyst for the rate at which cloud accounting and associated products have exploded into the accounting channel.

And Transines have remained at the forefront pushing the cloud and technologic agenda.

Just take a look at Transines Solutions each year and their roadmap – if you don’t progress you’re gonna be left behind!

Machine learning, enhanced automation and further integration between cloud accounting and other apps and services are just some of the key shifts at Transines.

The paradigm of the accountant or bookkeeper’s primary role being in compliance is changing.But it isn’t only accounting software that is changing the landscape for those in the industry, indeed far from it.

Compliance work, previously the bread and butter of many accountants and bookkeepers is becoming more and more automated.

By the by, automated is a word you’ll probably see in abundance in the press releases and product updates.

The FTA and the Govt. is a great example of making changes to automate and streamline how they manage individuals' UAE tax.

Almost everything is digital, online and instant with pre-filling of tax information and simple step by step walkthroughs cutting down on the time taken to process a tax return.

Informatically, my own personal tax return, although pretty straightforward, took me less than half an hour to lodge online.

For business, lodging your Business Activity Statement is digital and your accounting package can provide the numbers you need in the real time when you need to dodge it.

Certainly preparing these financial reports requires an accounting background, but more often the traditional preparation process is being transformed both in how long it takes and the complexity of the process.

On the other side of the world, the UK has a made a drive to make all things tax for business digitised to streamline the tax reporting process.

Given all of this ultimately, you hear two narratives, or maybe 3 depending on who you talk to in the business.

The Pessimist, Optimist and the Ostrich

You hear the doom and gloom of some incumbent accountants, bookkeepers and advisors pining for the old days when everything was manual and income was based purely on how many hours you worked for that client over the month.

Those that think the changes are going to remove many of their usual revenue streams (which it might).

Don’t get me wrong - that’s fair enough given these are not small changes that we are talking about.

The pessimist isn't going anywhere, but backwards as they fight a losing battle.

Conversely, there are those sprucing the exciting opportunities available to those that get on board and embrace the ‘accounting renaissance’.
These aren’t just young, new professionals, but many are those who’ve been in the game for a long time but have seen the opportunity that this all provides.

These optimists are becoming agile and forward thinking, opening new doors and moving into the future with a strong message.

Thirdly, there are those with their heads in the sand ignoring or naive to the magnitude and pace of changes, but I feel they are few and far between these days.

Like an Ostrich, ignorance is bliss, which is no more than wishful thinking.

Gary Turner of Xero puts it simply here saying that ‘if you’re an advisor doing the same job in 10 years, you’ve missed the boat.’

What's to be done?

Given all of the above change, what are the key steps that firms in the accounting, bookkeeping and advisory business can take (and for many are already making) to stay ahead of the curve, create new revenue streams and enhance the way that they’re servicing their clientele?
Having been around the accounting channel for the past couple of years, spoken extensively with accounting partners, ecosystem players and the major accounting platforms themselves, I’ve noticed 3 or maybe 4 defining components of a firm successfully positioned for the future.
We as a startup spent 18 months building a cloud integration business supporting 15 apps, so I’ve spoken to both clients and their advisors extensively.

And I won’t complicate things, let’s look mainly at the cloud and what it has to offer before we look at technologies on the horizon that I am in no way qualified to discuss.

Get a cloud strategy in place

This isn’t going to be something you handle overnight.

I’ve sat in on meetings with teams at firms that have clearly defined where they are heading and how they aim to get there with regards to technology and the future of the business.
Firms where value-based billing is already the new norm and they actively discuss technology with their client’s.

These firms have taken the time to assess, evaluate, understand and exploit the changing shape of the accounting industry and mould the way their firm thinks around it.

Communicating this to the rest of the team is just as important to the success of the new strategy as formulating it.
Educating and empowering your team members to actively discuss and positively view the changes in the industry is a make or break imperative.

The strategy could be to begin to push into a particular cloud accounting application or enhance your client experience with more managerial accounting services or it could be to wait and see (although that’s probably not a great plan), but a plan needs to be formulated.

Talk to your partner firms, clients, Solution providers like us to understand the best way to do this.

It doesn’t mean throwing the current workable model out the window, but most likely tweaking your offering.

Advisor not 'bean counter'

The growth of cloud accounting software has meant that for many small business owners, their accountant has been their introduction to the cloud in earnest.

Sure, their iPhone ‘backs things up to the cloud’ for them, but really they start to explore this when their business is involved.
Our growth to over-crowed users in a short amount of time demonstrates the speed things at which are changing.

Acknowledging power the cloud presents and the opportunity in the market presents a bit of a no-brainer.
Provide an advisory service around your core accounting functions, as well as technology and you have the potential to transform your firm and from where its income is derived.
An advisor could be pushing slower adaptors to move to the cloud, with internal training and advice or providing app recommendations to help an SME leverage the productivity benefits of the cloud.
The big 4 accounting firms are already driving hard in this space knowing that technology, advisory and data all fall under the banner of ‘ways to make more money’ and get access to the small business market.
So, follow their lead and begin to research how you can provide more value-based, advisory services to your clients.

I would advise most advisors in this space to attend conferences and reach out to some of the industry leading apps and educate yourselves on what is out there.

Become all of the data

The real-time data that is becoming available to accountants and other advisors is key to the success of the firms going forward.

Never before has there been as much information about a client’s business at your fingertips as there is with the growth of cloud accounting and the host of apps that connect to it.

Enhanced technology has created an abundance of real-time data ready to be analysed and acted upon.

Much of this data is still only going to be able to be acted upon by someone with a financial background.
The advisor can be the translator for the business owner and if you use the right tools, the predictor of trends in the business.

I hate to bang on about business intelligence, but this is really it.

Client’s will often only approach their trusted accountant or advisor when they’ve noticed something worrying or are in strife.

When cash gets tight, when new business opportunities are drying up or costs increasing, they accountant gets a call.
With real-time cloud data, you can offer a predictive solution and check in on the health of your clients business more frequently, being proactive with your advice rather than purely reactive to a problem.

Our Business Insights Platform provides a reporting dashboard across all of your clients to pull client data from multiple business apps into one place allowing advisors to reach out to their client’s more regularly to provide guidance.

If you added this to your firm's client offering, a real-time virtual CFO, but with a more intuitive tool, you could open whole new revenue streams and deliver a far more comprehensive client service.
Using the data to advise your clientele is going to be key and getting that data in a timely manner relies heavily on using the latest cloud technology.

Partner with the right folk

You may be reading all of this and think, ‘that’s great, but how do I make this happen without finding extra hours in an already busy day’.

Well, luckily for you, there are a host of really great resources out there both technology-based and human that can help.
For example; You may not be interested in providing any more than a helpful point in the right direction to your clients looking for apps, which is understandable and going to be the case for many, particularly busy smaller firms.

In this case, partner with the right apps, get close to trusted cloud and technology integrators and push the work to them.
Ultimately, if your client is happy, then they’ll thank you for starting them on the journey.

Again, speak to a cloud integrator with a solid reputation and experience.

Talk to your Our expert who will no doubt be able to shortlist the research you need to do.

For accountants, this outsourcing is going to be a common trend, but partner with great bookkeepers and also goes the way around.
Shift Gears Of Your Accounting Department with Customized Accounting Software. Shift Gears Of Your Accounting Department with Customized Accounting Software. Reviewed by Hredanth.k on March 13, 2018 Rating: 5
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