Tech can improve your offering – and value
Is it worth all the effort to transform your practice digitally? IFA member Muhammad A Zuberi certainly thinks so – and you might even end up with Fridays off if you make the change.
Many small ﬁrms continue to resist digital change by not wanting to invest time and money in their practice – until they start losing clients to more forward-thinking accountants.
A ‘digital’ accounting ﬁrm beneﬁts from eﬃciencies driven by improving the process of data collection and the ability to process that data quickly and automating the non-value-adding task. This saves time and eﬀort in chasing clients for their records. Automating the data collection also allows clients time to focus on growing their businesses, rather than worrying about their accounting responsibility.
These tech platforms are enhanced by the hundreds of apps available that link to them, helping automate and solve many back- and front-oﬃce pain points for small businesses.
I believe each ﬁrm must carefully consider a platform it should support, which feels the right ﬁt for them and with clients in mind. This ensures your staﬀ can master that one tech, rather than trying to be a jack-of-all-trades. Having all the clients on a single platform would also mean greater visibility from a workﬂow perspective. Think carefully about having a practice management tool in place to help your ﬁrm oﬀer better client interaction, including client onboarding tools that automate proposals and letter of engagements, document sharing and e-signing.
Practice owners can reinvest the saved time in reviewing the ﬁrm’s anti-money laundering procedures – an important area ignored by far too many practices; business development; CPD; networking; or even having Fridays oﬀ .
Finally, if you’re thinking of retiring in a few years’ time and don’t want to make these changes, then think carefully. The value of your practice will be impacted by its structure, organisation and client oﬀering – all of which are enhanced by technology.
Muhammad A Zuberi is the founder and managing director of London-based practice Pebble Accounting and an IFA member