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Balancing tradition with innovation in accounting

27th May 2024
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Glasscubes helps accountancy firms that are drowning in mundane administration and disorganised...
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As a senior management figure in your accounting firm, you are likely facing the dual challenge of maintaining your firm’s traditional values while trying to integrate modern technological advancements.

Balancing tradition with innovation in accounting
Balancing tradition with innovation in accounting

It’s a difficult situation – on the one hand, you’ll be worried about falling behind if you don’t embrace technology and on the other, you’re probably worried about losing client interactions, which are a key part of the traditional values of an accounting firm.

In fact, for many, this is the core value at the heart of traditional accounting – robust client interaction.

Traditionally, your firm may have emphasised detailed record-keeping, personal client relationships, and conservative business approaches.

However, focusing solely on these aspects without incorporating new technologies restricts your firm's growth and operational efficiency.

It's notable that about 41 per cent of accountants have yet to adopt cloud technology, often due to concerns that it might weaken the client interactions that are pivotal to traditional accounting.

But, as we will show in this article, it need not be compromised in your pursuit of innovative solutions.

Technologies such as cloud-based information gathering systems and client portals have been proven to enhance client relationships and, in some circumstances, can be a great start in your quest to embrace new technologies.

The real impact of stagnation

Your hesitation to adopt new technologies might be rendering your firm less efficient and increasingly isolated from the broader advancements in the industry.

While the traditional methods your firm employs have their merits – such as fostering deep client trust and meticulous accuracy – the failure to integrate modern technology can severely hamper your firm's competitiveness and the satisfaction of your clients.

This obviously goes directly against your stated goals of preserving client satisfaction, which is a big problem.

Quite simply, in today's market, technology drives efficiency and agility.

By not embracing it, your firm risks falling behind others that offer quicker, more accessible, and more cost-effective services.

The firms who do adopt technology are not only capturing a larger market share but are also setting new standards for client expectations – standards that involve rapid response times and enhanced data security, both facilitated by modern technology.

Additionally, the workforce within your firm is likely changing.

Newer generations of accountants, who have grown up in a digital-first environment, show a strong preference for workplaces that leverage technology to streamline processes and facilitate a better work-life balance.

This growing preference can create a divide between employees comfortable with traditional practices and those who seek dynamic, technology-driven work environments.

Such a divide can lead to dissatisfaction and a high turnover, which further disrupts the continuity and stability that are hallmarks of your firm.

Your current employees may feel their needs and ways of working are not understood or valued, which can lead to a decrease in morale and productivity.

Technology, as many of you are no doubt aware, is a key factor in improving recruitment and alleviating your skills-shortage-related issues.

As a senior manager, it is crucial to address these challenges head-on, by fostering an environment that values both tradition and innovation.

By addressing these gaps, you not only preserve the core values of your firm but also enhance your operational capabilities to meet the evolving demands of the industry and your clients.

So, what’s the solution?

Implementing cloud-based systems offers a way for you to maintain traditional values while embracing innovation.

These systems do not compromise client care – rather, they enhance it by making interactions more flexible, efficient, and collaborative.

Cloud-based information-gathering technology facilitates real-time updates, secure document sharing, and interactive financial planning with clients.

And, the data supports the effectiveness of these technologies – 67 per cent of accountants prefer cloud accounting over traditional local installations, and adopting these systems can cut labour costs by up to 50 per cent.

This shift from in-office to online collaboration does not reduce client interaction but rather strengthens it.

We firmly believe that the use of client portals and other technological tools that promote client-accountant interaction is NOT a deviation from traditional values.

It is an evolution that enhances your ability to serve clients effectively while maintaining the personal engagement that defines your firm's identity.

As a leader, your insight into how these tools can be leveraged to improve both efficiency and client relationships will be pivotal in shaping the future of your firm.

Embrace these changes not as a compromise but as a way to enhance and extend the foundational values of your profession.

For more information, please visit Glasscubes’ online form automation page.