In April 2016, HMRC introduced an online portal for businesses and individuals to register, file their taxes, pay and update their information at any time. It’s ideal for the user, as they have absolute control over what they can see and access, communication is made simpler and they know that their files are being kept in a secure place. This is achieved using cloud technology.
While it’s a step in the right direction, it means that it’s easier for businesses to self-manage their accounts and file their returns without an accountant. This makes it harder for accountancies who aren’t using the same online technology to compete. But this doesn’t have to be the end for your business – you can provide the same service to your clients if you’re willing to adapt to these changes.
Offer your clients personal online accounts that they can access whenever they want, giving them the same transparency and convenience that HMRC provides. With constant access to their accounts, they can communicate with you a lot easier and are reassured that their accounts are being kept in a reliable and secure place. But, if you choose not to digitalise your firm, you run the risk of your clients switching to a firm who will.
It’s not uncommon for accountancies to be hesitant about moving online as it often means making considerable changes to the way they work. As with most traditional industries, change can be difficult to adapt to, but in order to remain competitive it’s essential that your business evolves.
Firms resisting digital migration are fighting a losing battle. Advances in technology have worked to simplify and speed up previously complicated tasks, which means that accountancies who are offering digital services, such as cloud accounting, are better equipped to serve their customers.
Not only will cloud accounting benefit your clients, but it will also enable your accountancy to:
- Instantly communicate with clients
- Access documents on the go
- Effectively search and filter — everything is online therefore it is much easier and quicker to find what you’re looking for
- Digitally archive important documents — keeping them for longer
With so much obvious benefit to your clients (and with many other firms digitalising their services), you are severely hindering your chances of success in the future if you don’t make the move.
Why make the move?
In 2008 the amount of internet connected devices in the world superseded the number of humans on earth. This is indicative of a digital shift that is currently underway, which sees more and more companies operating their business via handheld gadgets and/or online platforms.
By embracing cloud accounting, you’ll not only remain competitive, but you’ll be able to seamlessly connect with your client’s online account details, granting you access to the information that will help you provide the best advice and support.
Traditional accountancies need to keep up, come 2020 there won’t be a place for non-digitalised firms. The sooner your firm embraces the change, the sooner you can improve your communication with clients, have a more efficient filing system and secure your spot in today’s competitive marketplace.
If you’re interested in finding out more on how you can digitally modernise your firm and become a real contender on the accountancy stage, then give us a call or send an email. A member of our senior team will be happy to chat about a custom strategy for your firm.