Director of Operations, UK & EMEA Xero
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Covid-19 cements cloud’s place at the heart of accounting

The coronavirus pandemic has undoubtedly changed the way we work and operate, with the accounting industry being no exception.

20th Aug 2020
Director of Operations, UK & EMEA Xero
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We’ve seen many firms making changes through digitisation. According to SmartVault’s State of Accountants Survey, the majority of firms who believe their pandemic response has been successful have had at least one cloud system in place prior to going remote.

The last few months have accelerated the cloud-first mindset, with many accountants cementing digital as part of their day-to-day – not only to be able to work remotely, but also to keep up with the increased demand of clients looking for financial support during this time.

Attitudes have changed, and those who were hesitant before are now seeing the significant benefits of migrating practices to the cloud. For those who still haven’t embraced this shift, here are just a few of the ways it could benefit your practice:

Real-time data – all in one place

Cloud-powered accountants and bookkeepers say one of the most important aspects of the changed relationship with clients is the ability to show them an up-to-date snapshot of their finances as often as they need it.

Get closer to your clients

The cloud lends itself to automating and streamlining many of the more onerous accounting tasks. Doing less number-crunching and manually filling out spreadsheets frees up an enormous amount of time. Many cloud accountants and bookkeepers are spending this extra time on advising their clients. 

Collaboration with colleagues made easy

Like millions across the country, the majority of accountants had to work from home during the pandemic. This meant those using traditional processes - like working from paper documents and spreadsheets - will have found it difficult to collaborate with teams. Cloud technology like Xero allows multiple users to work simultaneously on the same set of data. For enhanced security, organisations can grant different permissions to various members of the team.

Automate manual tasks

Think of all the repetitive tasks that your firm carries out every month, such as reconciling bank transactions, producing reports and generating invoices. Now think about all the time that you could save by automating them. With cloud platforms like Xero, your reports would be produced easily each month, free from manual error and your staff can spend their time on other strategic tasks.

Cloud-based apps

There’s a whole world of apps that integrate with cloud technology platforms to do some really smart work for you and help speed up processes. For example, Practice Ignition reduces the admin of onboarding clients, forecasting apps like Fluidly and Float help you keep clients up to date on their financial health, and Xero’s data capture solution Hubdoc takes the pain away from financial data capture.

Though lockdown has been easing and businesses are beginning to return to their offices, there’s no doubt that many will keep digital processes in place long after this period is over. This is just the beginning of the industry’s transformation, and this period is undoubtedly accelerating a new approach to running practices.

 

If you’re an accountant in practice, sign up to the Xero partner programme, where you’ll get the tools, resources and dedicated account management to help get your practice and clients set up for success. Visit www.xero.com/partnership to get started.