How have four accountants used technology to their advantage?

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Every month we talk with a senior-level accountant in practice to find out how they embed technology into their everyday processes.

Tech Talk

The cloud, paperless offices or the digital accounts process are three of the hot topics that we have recently heard about from four senior-level accountants in practice. Read on for some of their most interesting ideas about accounting technology and their vision for the future.

Moving to the cloud

If there’s something that forward-looking practitioners agree with, it's the importance of shifting to the cloud. Freddie Faure, co-founder of CooperFaure, recently highlighted the benefits from moving beyond desktop solutions: “We were quick to see the benefit of cloud-based technology, both to enable our team to work remotely and to meet the changing regulatory landscape.”

A move to the cloud and the goal to become a paperless office also applies to Mark Broadhead of Broadhead Accountants in Bristol: “We are virtually paperless… Electronic versions of correspondence are always easier to find and ready for sharing with clients.”

Choosing software

With the vast amount of software available, accountants need to choose the right solutions for their firms and cater for the different needs of their clients. Edward Corrigan, founding partner at Corrigan Associates, discussed the use of particular apps to benefit his clients: “We’re using those [apps] particularly around data capture in order to streamline the bookkeeping process,” he said. Corrigan also indicated the role of an integrated system as fundamental in his day-to-day work: “We’re now making the most of the fact that we have an integrated plan and contacts database. It makes communicating with our clients much more efficient.”

Corrigan also shared his top considerations when choosing new technologies to run his practice: “We wanted it to have a single point of entry, to make the data capture as easy as possible. We also considered the interface; we wanted it to be intuitive and clear. And we were also looking for a robust system with a well-established user base and one that we could be confident would be well maintained.”

Compliance requirements

The recent and upcoming changes in compliance are making accountants re-think their software needs: “GDPR has caused us to look at streamlining our systems and processes”, said Faure.

But perhaps the most significant driver of technology change is the onset of MTD for VAT. Jolene Hutton, Operations Director at Eazitax Ltd. described the digital accounts process which is dictated by the regulation coming into force in 2019. “The Thomson Reuters OnBalance solution takes care of this,” Hutton said.

“Our clients use it daily to input their income and expense data, we also use Onvio in conjunction with OnBalance to pull that data though on our end. It’s very straightforward – we first set up projects that then flow through to OnBalance, which then alerts our clients that they need to press a button to release their data to us.”

More Tech Talk

Read the full interviews with Freddie FaureJolene HuttonMark Broadhead and Edward Corrigan to get their full story. For more monthly updates with accounting professionals, follow our Tech Talk series here.