Accounting and bookkeepers most at danger. As threatening as it may sound, it still presents opportunities and advantages that firms should not dismiss. Automation tools are made available to make our jobs easier and quicker. They wouldn’t run anyway without users to operate them; therefore, they don’t totally eliminate our roles.
What we have to realise is how we should utilise the time freed up by automation to add more value to our services. Sam Allert, managing director of accounting software Reckon in Australia and New Zealand, acknowledges how clients’ expectations are changing as technology advances, and processing the minimum work won’t be sufficient. They want someone to add value on top of the compliance work they do. “They’re saying the same thing today but we’ve got better tools, we have better technology.
Personally I don’t think there’s been a more exciting time; this is the best time to be an accountant, to be a business adviser or to be a bookkeeper,” said Allert. Robyn Milner FCA, director of Sharman Business Consulting, also believes that accountants should welcome the change and embrace the possibilities it presents.
According to her, “I think as a profession, we’ve got to adapt and be more focused on where we can add value and those value-adding skills are what the future of the profession will look like.” What firms should do is to choose an effective automated workflow solution that is easy to learn and use, and fits the workflow management needs. Bonus points if the software vendor can integrate seamlessly with other solutions to provide an uninterrupted workflow.
Here are some ways firms can benefit from automation:
- Automated transactions eliminate data entry and reduce paper flow in the workstream
- Streamlined business process allows access to real-time data
- Real-time accounting data means better and effective decision making
- Auto-population of forms with data extracted from previous documents saves time
- Mobile accessibility lets clients and accountants/bookkeepers collaborate
In a time when firms struggle to achieve greater efficiency and increased customer focus, automation is the ultimate solution for accounting firms. The Outsourced Accountant helps accounting firms from all over the world grow their capacity, margins and profits through global outsourcing. Contact us to find out more about how we can help your firm.