Tait Walker to develop client app

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Accountant Tait Walker has signed a deal with MyFirmsApp to develop a branded app to communicate more easily with its clients.

Tait Walker, which is member of the Macintyre Hudson Association (MHA), is emulating the strategy of other association members such as Monahans and Carpenter Box that have created their own apps in recent months.

Tait Walker is working with specialist developer MyFirmsApp to create the program and expects a large proportion of clients to embrace it. The app will give clients access to accounts, tax information, calculations and tools such as mileage and expense trackers on smartphones and tablets.

The app will also allow clients to check what they’re due to pay to HMRC.

“It enables clients to share either documents or data with us more easily. There will be a number of different platforms within it, including portals that relate to both accountancy services and wealth management services. For example, a client of both tax and wealth management services will be able to check what tax liabilities they have, but also see how their investment portfolio is performing,” said Tait Walker tax partner Alastair Wilson.

The app is being formulated with specialist developer MyFirmsApp as part of Tait Walker’s preparations for collecting Making Tax Digital (MTD) information: “In terms of security, we feel more comfortable that any communication from us will go straight to the client on their phone and not on a desktop screen that others may be able to access.”

The app will help the firm comply with the new General Data Protection Regulation that will apply from May 2018. The new regime will require businesses to have explicit permissions from clients to communicate with them.

“The easiest way to collect those explicit permissions is going to be via either app-based services or some other type of web service. As an organisation, we need to have all the trails in place to ensure that we have access to all those explicit permissions from our clients,” Wilson said.

Tait Walker already uses email and web-based communication tools and sees the app as an “additional layer” to get its message across. The system will provide information about clients’ use of the app, which will help the firm to offer more targeted information to users.

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By chatman
30th Jun 2017 10:28

Is this any different to the My Firms App that has been lambasted on AccountingWeb?

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30th Jun 2017 16:30

So this is an article about an app that does not yet exist and that will be used by clients of a firm that I suspect most people have never heard of, built by a developer that claims to build thousands of such apps for firms all over the country? And so it's news because...?

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03rd Jul 2017 08:51

It's news because our data from Practice Excellence Award entrants is that they are devoting more and more attention to digital marketing, and mobile apps is a new approach that we see cropping up more often.

It doesn't matter that you haven't heard of Tait Walker - we picked up the story because we felt they were representative of this trend. It also doesn't matter to the news criteria whether some people have "lambasted" MFA on AccountingWEB. People are entitled to say what they like on the site - as long as it's not defamatory.

We thought this was an interesting example of the new trend and brought it forward so members could find out a bit more why one firm decided to go down this route.

Other apps and marketing/client service techniques are available.

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By chatman
03rd Jul 2017 09:02

John Stokdyk wrote:
It also doesn't matter to the news criteria whether some people have "lambasted" MFA on AccountingWEB

Who said it did? I just asked a question.

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By DJKL
04th Jul 2017 09:17

Well, I at least have heard of them, in fact I have used them re vat advice, they are a North East firm.

And irrespective of the App the snippet re Data Protection from 2018 was useful as I, for one, was unaware of changes and this may be something that needs considered re Engagement Letters-will need to do more reading.

Even Luddites re myself can enjoy reading about the use of tech in accountancy, I even, just today, signed up for Accounting Live at the SECC in November, something I normally would not be seen dead attending, but reluctantly even I may need to embrace the future; step one is to remember to actually carry my mobile phone with me, damn, failed again today.

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03rd Jul 2017 16:55

What would have perhaps bought more value to this article, is looking at firms who have also launched apps for their clients and prospects recently that have not used MyFirmsApp because it's not the only option accountants have if they want to go down the app route.

Our app will be launched this month and we custom designed it for our clients and are quite happy with the simplicity it provides. We wanted it to be a little different to the same format I was seeing with the MyFirmsApp apps.

I am undecided as to whether or not it is a worthy investment but with more and more clients using their smartphones, it is definitely worth a go (however I will be paying close attention to downloads and user numbers over the next 6 months).

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04th Jul 2017 15:01

Tait Walker are probably one of the better independent firms in the North East and they lead the way for the more traditional firms in the region. I know many of their clients who rate them highly.

MyFirmsApp get a a lot of stick on Aweb because of their very bullish marketing and the fact they spam you to death or submission into signing up to the app. If this allows clients to exchange and approve documents then it is a bit advanced than the version i have seen previously.

What I would be keen to know is the numbers behind the app usage. For instance Joe Boggs launched their app to 1000 clients with a sign up rate of 30% of which 10% were regular users.

What I struggle with app usage is that how heavily are they used compared to fuller versions of the product.
Most proper businesses (ones with staff and a business premises where they get up and go to work) would surely have a desktop and surely exchange documents via scan and email. The use of apps would surely appeal to the home worker.

If you look at Xero I imagine the app part of it is used the least as a way of accessing your accounts. Same with RB I would imagine the use of the scan or post to them for processing is used far more than the phone app.

When I have looked at these before they seem to be just like a modern version of a tax card with a few extras like a mileage tracker and would be suprised if clients engaged in them much and I suspect most firms of a certain size have them as they are expected to as others have them.

I cannot see a client reviewing his stat accounts on an Iphone.

MyFirmsApp make very bold claims about how essential having one of their apps is however I have not seen any testimonials from users quoting sign up rates or what benefits it brings to a firm.

For me they seem to be sold way beyond what they will actually deliver in benefits to clients, which is a common theme emerging in the add on and cloud platform.

The investment to a firm like TW will be insignificant, so I can see why they do it to say they have one.

I suspect the reason this information around sign up numbers is not readily available is because the numbers are probably not all that, although I appreciate things may change as technology improves and MTD unfolds.

Currently though I would say a good CRM system with email and text message communications would get a far greater response buy in from clients currently.

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