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Tackling the capacity crunch in accountancy: a three-stage journey - whitepaper

14th May 2024
Brought to you by
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Silverfin’s cloud platform is used by over 800 firms to automate core accounting work, making it faster, easier and better.

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  • Using a three-stage approach, Silverfin explains how AI and accounting automation can help attract, engage, retain and nurture talent and offset the skills gap predicted for the industry
  • Includes case studies and commentary from leaders at flinder, Moore and BKL

Written in collaboration with senior leaders at accounting firms flinder, Moore, and BKL, the whitepaper explains why AI and accounting automation software is the key to attracting and retaining accountancy talent and solving the capacity crunch too many firms are facing today. With the ATT predicting a shortfall of 60,000 qualified accountants by 2050, firms need to act quickly to secure the future of the industry.  

The latest whitepaper from Silverfin, specialists in cloud software for accountants, ‘Tackling the capacity crunch in accountancy: a three-stage journey’ will help struggling firms manage the talent exodus from the accountancy sector.

Former PwC accountant and now Silverfin’s UK General Manager, Cameron Ford, says the warnings are already coming true: “The ATT predictions may seem sensational, but Manchester and Nottingham are already feeling the effects of accountants leaving the profession. Many people are disillusioned by workloads, especially low value repetitive tasks, inflexible working practices and compliance demands. British businesses depend on the profession, but they’ll soon face difficulties securing the skills they need to comply and grow.”

Cameron adds: “There are lots of initiatives across the sector to change the perception of accounting and attract young people into the industry. But it must be acknowledged that Gen Z will take some persuading that the life of a junior accountant isn’t unfulfilling number crunching and a risk of burnout. They want careers with flexible working terms, stimulating work and the right technology to get the job done. The UK economy can’t afford for Accountancy firms to avoid meeting these demands any longer.”

‘Tackling the capacity crunch in accountancy: a three-stage journey’ provides guidance on how firms can tackle these thorny issues and use AI and accounting automation with cloud software to pave the way for more fulfilling and profitable accounting at firms of all sizes.  

Using case studies from industry leaders flinder, BKL and Moore, the whitepaper illustrates the importance of following a clear technology and people strategy to reverse the professional exodus and attract new talent to the industry.

In step 1, the guide looks at understanding four specific challenges:

  • finding and securing the right people
  • keeping people engaged
  • training people in a competitive world
  • maximising people’s contribution to growth.

In step 2, it considers the three people related superpowers AI can unlock:

  • Speed and flexibility
  • Accelerated growth
  • Strength and resilience

And in step 3, it provides guidance on evaluating the right technology and partners.

Tine Deklerck, partner at Moore Belgium, explains why introducing technology to do the manual tasks can build a foundation for future company growth and acquisition: “To offer job satisfaction in accountancy, you need to equip your teams with tools that reduce repetitive and manual chores, and make it easy to do business wherever they are. That’s why we’re continuously investing in a strong internal network, backed by cutting-edge technology. In this way, we build a strong community for our employees as well. People should never feel like pawns at Moore, no matter how big we’re becoming.”

Alistair Barlow, CEO and co-founder of flinder, says taking a blended technology and people approach has helped it find high caliber tech-savvy candidates and make strides towards future-proofing its practice: “The way we use technology is attractive to the talent we want to attract, and the new generation of accountants has an appetite for it.” 

Hollie Moore, early careers manager at BKL, talks about the importance of being a tech-led firm when recruiting: “For new hires, especially those who are already experienced or qualified, it’s exciting to join a firm that’s so tech-heavy,” Hollie explains. “They see the time savings and innovation we embrace, and it’s refreshing for them. Plus, employees can work from anywhere in the world. This flexibility means that someone can go traveling and still work part-time, thanks to cloud-based technology.”

Cameron sums up: “It will become clear to readers that AI and accounting automation is making a difference at every level. Firms of all sizes and points in their growth are tackling the capacity crunch with AI, and clients and employees are both benefiting. Not only does this future proof their firm, but it puts them in a position to provide market leading advisory services. It leaves me in no doubt that the firms that hesitate to join the AI movement will pay the price.”


About Silverfin: 

Silverfin is a cloud platform with live client data, connected workpapers and AI that’s built by accountants for accountants. Silverfin dramatically improves the efficiency, accuracy and profitability of traditional post accounting work. With centralised data, standardised and automated workflows, this work takes hours rather than days. 

Built by accountants for accountants, Silverfin supports over 340,000 client files a year for customers including 30 of the top 100 accounting firms in the UK. 

Creating consistency and capacity, Silverfin helps firms thrive with improved quality, insights and the benefits of AI trained on accounting data. Our cloud Data Hub enables access to real-time data and eliminates errors so that preparing and submitting end-of-year accounts and corporation tax returns often takes 50% less time.

About Silverfin Assistant: Launched last year in the UK, Silverfin Assistant continuously analyses client files to find unusual balances, missing transactions and outliers. Flagging these and suggesting fixes, saves hours of manual checking, improves accuracy and improves client service.

Download the complete whitepaper: Tackling the capacity crunch in accountancy: a three-stage journey