Accounting has never been particularly renowned for being a collaborative industry.
Typically, the relationship was based around clients dropping masses of receipts, sales tickets and notes on the laps of their poor accountant at the end of the financial year, hopefully in some kind of order, and then the accountant worked through them to prepare financial statements.
However, given the amount of compliance rules and regulations businesses now face when it comes to financial reporting, siloed processes and a lack of communication just doesn't cut it.
Collaboration, and smart collaboration at that, has become the order of the day.
How to create a more intelligent accounting environment
One of the biggest barriers to accounting collaboration until now has been the lack of ability for clients and accountants (or teams) to work on the same documents at the same time.
The only way this was possible before, especially in the days of paper, was for the client to sit with their accountants as they worked through every document - not exactly the best use of time.
Cloud platforms have helped breakdown some of these walls because they allow people to work on tasks, anywhere at anytime.
Adding some intelligence and automation into the process can improve this collaboration by instantly notifying users when they need to provide additional information (and adding data with minimal effort) and also creating audit trails so everyone knows who is working on a particular document, or who worked on it last.
Smoothing out the friction
Removing friction from the customer experience has become something of a buzzword in recent months, but that doesn't mean it's not worth it.
In accounting especially, there are multiple points for friction to occur which leads to delays at best and, at worst, inaccurate or incomplete accounts which don't meet regulatory standards.
Making use of technology like cloud hosting, removes most of the friction from accounting processes because it allows anyone - with the right permissions - to access and work on documents at any time.
Having everything stored on a central cloud system also saves your people the hassle of having to track down email attachments (which inevitably are list in the wilderness of at least 17 email chains!)
Keeping sensitive data, especially financial information, out of the hands of cyber criminals is job one of any business entrusted with handling said information.
Looking at how many firms or businesses store this information (on-premise on hard-drives, on USB drives or in filing cabinets), it is a wonder more information isn't being lost or stolen.
Much is made about whether the cloud is secure, and you should be sure offer your clients the highest level of security possible. Your competitors are likely to carry the same level of data encryption used by banks and this should be the minimum your clients should expect.
It is always worth training your staff get on basic cyber security as people are always the softest route to sensitive data.
If you want to know more about how to create a smarter, collaborative client communication model using cloud technology, download or new eBook here.