Which tech makes an accountant tick? Whether you’re a fan of Echo Dot, know your AI from your APIs, see where your fellow accountants sit on the tech spectrum. Throughout 2018, we’ve been speaking with UK Accountants in practice to find out what tech makes them tick, and how it has influenced their success.
Victoria Cooper, founder of Red Shoes Accounting Services has gone green as a result of becoming cloud-focused, a trend which is not uncommon in accountancy practices across the UK. She says, “Due to the advances of technology such as cloud accounting, we can operate more efficiently, and storage is much less of an issue now. I’ve stopped buying filing cabinets as we are using far less paper now and printing much less which is good news for the planet – especially in January!”
Swaran Sohal runs a practice in the black-country considering technology to be “a member of staff who assists the practice”. He believes “tech will do more and help to improve the productivity of my real members of staff.” Swaran looks for software that solves problem without creating new ones.
Jeri Williams runs a female-managed practice in Fareham. When we asked if there were any everyday accountancy problems she thinks could be solved with technology in the future, she suggested: “I think HMRC [should accept] some things electronically. For example, if we send a 64A agent authority form, it has to be in the post. For some things, they only accept original documents and it’s a very long process as you have to write to them using post, you can’t email them. That needs to change; it’s not in keeping with the times.”
All our accountants are forward-thinking when it comes to coping with compliance change. For Making Tax Digital, Swaran has been proactive and researched and tested the best possible solution to suit his practice. He suggests “The first solution may not work but it gives you time to test, evaluate and revise.”
Victoria has invested in a hosted solution with virtual access for her practice, a strong trend across the industry – especially when problems with access arise. Episodes of bad weather such as the ‘beast from the east’ forced many business-owners to re-consider their ability to carry on as normal during such events. Victoria explains, “At the start of my practice we used to have inefficient stand-alone systems which were cumbersome to use and hard to get everyone access to when they needed it. That’s all changed now. Investing in the Digita Virtual Office was a massive change and ensured that we were all able to access and process secure and up to date data when we needed it from wherever we had an internet connection – office, home, client premises, etc.”
More Tech Talk…
Read the interviews with Victoria Cooper, Swaran Sohal and Jeri Williams to get their full story. For more monthly updates with accounting professionals, follow our previous Tech Talk pieces with AccountingWEB .
Stay tuned next year where we’ll talk tech with more senior-level accountants!