Adapting to the cloud: Revolution or evolution

Principle Point
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Many firms are engaged with the challenge about how to incorporate cloud applications into well-established service offerings to meet changing expectations, and also to breathe new life into their proposition, says Richard Sergeant of Principle Point.

Brand change and departmental evolution

Phil Murray of Harlands described a transformation of the practice enabled initially by an MBO: “It gave us the opportunity to think seriously about who we are and what we are here to do. To refresh and totally rebrand and look to more advisory services, and we believed then as we do now that tech is not a barrier but an opportunity”.

Murray described gaining clarity over the purpose of the firm “to help clients take control of their finances to build a better business” with cloud instrumental in realising this “It speeds things up and helps us deliver more real time advice, tax and business strategy”.

The all-embracing approach for a compact firm like Harlands is not the only option.

Larger firms adapting to the cloud is often negotiated with internal champions carving out the opportunity. Tony Reynolds, partner at Cassons, heads up the Small Business and Business Support departments. “You could see the collaborative way of working and we agreed that if we could see the opportunity we would go for it”, he said.

One opportunity came in their niche with Barristers: “We looked at how to service them more efficiently. We brought a number of services together, and ensured that we could collect all the data easily and accurately.

“An advantage of cloud is that although they are busy and in different locations, they can keep all their expenses up to date without any trouble.”

This packaging up services allowed them to create a specific brand Cassons for Counsel which has made it easier to market, and (now with Xero) easier to deliver.

Register with AccountingWEB for free to read the rest of the article, which includes:

  • Change spreads through the business
  • Pragmatism wins, but challenging is important
  • Challenge also extends to staff
  • The Future 
  • Digitalisation is an opportunity
  • The lesson for others out there is clear

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