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.