Regardless of your size, your competitive advantage will depend on how efficient you are, how well you differentiate your firm from your competitors, and how effectively you recruit and retain talent. Now more than ever, technological advancements have enabled small to mid-size firms to increase productivity without losing money.
So, how can you take advantage of technology and digital platforms to increase productivity for your practice? Let's have a look at the basics:
There has been a move towards technology in the Accounting space for many years however the current environment has been the greatest driver towards transformation for the accounting profession. Overnight lockdowns and remote working, legislation changes and increased client expectations have meant accountants have had to adapt and change how they work. Historically, larger accounting firms could respond better because they have the manpower to handle this increased complexity. However, thanks to technology, smaller firms and their agility can adopt technology and change quicker, making them well suited to compete with the larger firms in this new landscape
Looking at one of the most common tasks an accountant undertakes—preparing a tax return—it can now be a streamlined, efficient process with less touch points than ever thanks to technology. Everything from the engagement letter, to the collection and collation of source documents, to the preparation, signing and subsequent lodgment of the returns, can be processed by leveraging cloud technologies and automation.
When implemented correctly, data entry and information can be aggregated in one place, streamlining the process, reducing errors and increasing efficiency. Clients and accountants can work with the same data thanks to the cloud and communicate without delays via their computers or mobile devices.
As a bonus, this accessibility and efficiency build trust and confidence with clients.
End-to-end integrations that enable automation for most–if not all–client interactions are a must for small and mid-size firms. From creating and sending proposals to communicating with clients and sharing documents, all systems and cloud technologies a practice uses should be talking to each other and sharing data.
Picture this, you login to your system to send a proposal to a client. The client receives the proposal and digitally signs it. Then the magic happens, automatically your integrated systems are talking to each other and your workflows are triggered, creating the tasks you need to complete the job. Once you complete the job and notify your client, your system automatically knows it's time to send the invoice. Or even better, charge it to their credit or debit account, using the payment details collected when they signed the proposal.
You can start your free 14-day free trial today to see how Practice Ignition can help you make smart integrations a reality.
Attract and retain the best team
Implementing the best in class technologies will help you attract and retain the most forward thinking accountants. More accountants want to improve their work-life balance. There is already a greater focus on remote working, flexible hours and more efficient ways for team members to accomplish their tasks. Nobody wants to work longer or harder than they have to. Technology has a huge role to play in ensuring these needs are met.
Let’s not forget that the next generation of accountants has grown up with technology. They belong to a world that is connected, and that has instantaneous access to information. This is what they know and what they will expect in their careers. They will be looking for firms with a strong tech adoption that allows quick and efficient access to data and solutions and accounting firms must be ready to meet these needs.
Client expectations are at an all-time high. Do your clients perceive your firm as up-to-date? Are you leveraging technology to use your most valued resource more effectively?
We are here to help! Book a 1:1 meeting with one of our experts to find out how Practice Ignition can help you automate your engagement letters, integrate your workflows, and get paid on time every time.
About the author
Rebecca Mihalic is an Australian Registered Tax Agent and a Chartered Accountants Australian & New Zealand member. Rebecca was a founding partner of Aptus Accounting & Advisory, a cloud-based accounting firm and the winner of ‘Innovator of the year’ at the 2018 Australian Accounting Awards for their use of technology to support clients & the firm’s growth. Rebecca is currently a director at businessDEPOT and leads the group's Sydney operations. In recent years Rebecca has earned a reputation for her leadership in the accounting industry, winning ‘Thought leader of the year’ in the 2021 Australian Accounting Awards.