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Winning and retaining clients with accounting technology

Winning new clients is now the top priority for 41 percent of accountancy firms according to research, and being seen as an innovator and user of new technology is key to this according to 23 percent.

Regulatory changes and continued uncertainty of the UK's financial sector post-Brexit are placing new challenges of accountancy firms to not only impress current clients, and entice new ones with technology, but to ensure their own financial stability in the future.

But is accounting technology the answer to these problems?

And what technology should firms be prioritising with so many 'new and innovative' platforms to choose from?

Mobile

Half of the UK workforce will be working remotely by 2020, according to the Office of National Statistics, which means accountants will need to adapt to meeting the needs of workers who don't have time to sit at a desk for hours filing financial papers.

Being able to scan receipts or working papers for instance, from anywhere, and have them instantly stored electronically with a complete digital audit trail saves time having to manually store and track documents.

It also enables employees to scan and file on the go meaning they can spend more time in the field and working, rather than dealing with paperwork.

Collaboration

As the rise of mobile working has increased the desire of employees to work away from the office, so too has the need for businesses and processes to be adaptable to 'split' teams with people working on the same project from different places.

These employees are not working in siloes even when out of the office and the need for secure collaboration is now greater than ever - and this includes the accountancy world.

For example, enabling teams and clients to work on accounts, audits and tax reports through an integrated platform to simplify reporting and submissions whilst helping to promote greater accuracy will improve efficiency and allow these teams to spend more time on their actual jobs - rather than chasing down paperwork.

Cloud

Promoting greater collaboration is clearly key for accounting firms looking to impress prospects or retain clients, and the cloud has great advantages when it comes to promoting real-time collaboration by allowing firms to review, comment on and sign off files at the same time.

Cloud based platforms, like those offered by CaseWare, also allow sensitive data to be transferred securely online through cloud-based add-on tools - essential in this post GDPR world.

Conclusion

The importance of choosing the right technology has become just as important to an accountancy firm as choosing the right people. For a client looking in, the right use of technology demonstrates a firm which can provide the flexible, efficiency boosting, cost savings tools needed for modern businesses - especially when delivered through platforms which can boost collaboration.

However, firms which remain bogged down with manual, labour intensive and cost draining procedures will quickly lose the confidence of businesses.

It is clear that making the right use of technology can not only help accountants retain their current client list, but can also vault them above the competition when it comes to winning new clients.

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