Suggestions of how accountants can use technology to grow their business in 2018

It is no longer good enough for accountants to just have new technology; they need to tap into its full potential to stay ahead in the market and help drive business success for their clients.

Accountants, technology, smart phones, software
Accountants and the use of technology to help their clients

When running a practice, it is easy to forget that you should treat your firm as a business rather than just a service. Businesses focus on growth and productivity, and so should accounting firms. A key way to ensure maximum growth is the optimisation of technology for multiple purposes.

Today’s technology can be adapted to your business, and here are seven ways you can use it to grow faster in 2018.

Automate processes for daily efficiency

The accounting and bookkeeping tools on offer today are transformative for both accounting firms and their clients. They can make tasks up to five times quicker than if they are completed manually, ensuring bookkeeping is automated and effortless, and there is no longer any need to spend time on mundane yet necessary actions.

The benefits of this automation are significant. The labour-intensive processes of yesterday only enable bookkeepers to have a limited number of clients, but with automation freeing up much of their time, they are able take on more clients, therefore growing their firm.

Offer real-time advice

Cloud technology enables accountants to give their clients anytime, anywhere access to their data within just a few clicks. This empowers the client to find out information for themselves instead of contacting their accountant, therefore releasing more of the accountant’s time.

One barrier to cloud accounting is security; there are still clients out there, who will be sceptical about the cloud. It is the accountant’s job to be knowledgeable about how cloud security works and stay up-to-date with changes so they can reassure their uncertain clients.

By providing clients with a way to access their data easily, accountants can spend more time growing relationships with current clients and looking for prospects.

Be contactable anytime, anywhere

There are many ways to reach current and prospective clients now. Traditional face-to-face meetings, telephone calls, and emails are now mixed with messaging apps, video calls, and social media. Accountants must be contactable and active on all platforms. Listen to your clients and establish their preferred way of contact.

Accountants can be in contact with clients even when the client is not actively seeking their services. Social media is an effective and sometimes even free way to market yourself. By posting content clients want to see, establishing a strong brand, and even reacting to comments from customers and prospects, firms can grow their business.

By advising your clients that they can contact you whenever they need to, and ensuring you always answer them or get back to them as soon as you can, they will trust your services and be more likely to recommend you to others.

Optimise services for millennial clients

Since millennials now make up 35% of the workforce according to a KPMG report, all businesses must ensure that every aspect of their services meet the preferences of these workers. This includes how they receive their invoices and other communications, and the overwhelming preference is for digital.

Out of the millennials surveyed, 82% would prefer if their accounting firm went totally paperless. It is easy to agree that removing paper receipts from the mix would be easier, not least because it prevents the issue of losing them, but actually making the switch is another story. Now, with products out there like Receipt Bank’s scanner app, clients can snap receipts and invoicing and send them to their accountants quickly.

Always consider the preferences of each individual client and cater to this. Show potential clients you can adapt to their specific needs, and be aware that many will favour digitisation.

Embrace mobile working

Apps are the friends of accountants and clients alike. If customers can use a smart phone, they will find using accounting apps, such as Receipt Bank, easy. By installing these apps on their phones or other mobile devices, clients can make use of them wherever they are; if they have a busy day planned they can still send paperwork while waiting for the train!

The benefits for the accountant are also clear. Clients can get receipts, bills, and other paperwork to accountants via apps in real time rather than sending everything at once at the end of the month. Accountants can then process them as they come in, and provide their customers with outstanding service by giving them the information they need to run their business successfully all the time.

By encouraging your clients to use mobile apps, you will reduce their responsibilities as well as making your job easier and giving you the chance to deal with bills as you go along.

Impress current clients, and gain new ones

According to 80 percent of high-performing accountancy firms, adding value to existing clients is the most effective means of growth. For this reason, accountants should not only look to implement new technology with prospective clients. They also need to get current clients on board.

Book in some time with your current clients to talk about their pain points and how you could help them grow their business. Introduce the new technology they could make use of to save them time and make their jobs easier. Sell them a package they cannot turn down because doing it themselves would be more expensive and time-consuming.

Excel during tax season

By making full use of automation tools and accounting apps, firms can always stay one step ahead of their clients’ needs. Technology leaves more time to consider advanced improvements to client services, such as rolling out a monthly recurring revenue model instead of dealing with a mad rush at tax season.

Accountants should actually see tax season should as an opportunity, rather than a nightmare. It is a chance to convert year-end customers into monthly paying customers, therefore providing the accounting firm with a steady cash flow.

Technology can be the difference between a good and a great business. Accountants can use technology to bring maximum benefits to both their firms and their clients, enabling their practices to become thriving businesses in 2018.

Find out how Stanley Carter can help your business work smarter, grow faster, and go further contact us on 01612056655 or send us an email or check our website for further details

The deadline is looming. Companies and Business owners have until the end of this month to submit it.

January can be a tricky time for companies and business owners. Even if you’ve kept on top of it all throughout the year, you can still have a time consuming task on your hands.

Tax return, HMRC, tax
Deadline approaching

Companies face a number of challenges at this time of year, particularly as the tax deadline is in tandem with reduced revenue after the Christmas break.

It’s all too easy to forget that small business owners don’t have the luxury of enjoying much downtime over Christmas. The break is often a prime opportunity to catch up on important business admin and to start planning for the year ahead.

It’s worrying that nearly half of small businesses in the UK admit that they have struggled to pay tax bills, according to a report from insurer RSA. But what’s more worrying is that problem with accounting, or simply a lack of awareness about the process or the deadline, mean that as many as a quarter of companies are missing the due date.

Failing to file a self assessment form by 31 January can leave you facing an automatic £100 penalty.

The fines build up after three months, with HMRC starting to charge penalties of £10 per day, and after six months, the penalty amounts to five per cent of the person’s tax or £300, whichever is higher.

Being hit with fines will inevitably put a strain on the cashflow of small businesses, so managing your tax properly is important. We have here some tips to help you manage your taxes:

First, stay organised. You don’t want to be panicking the day before the deadline trying to find bits of paperwork, so it’s a good idea to file everything in an organised fashion throughout the year.

If you haven’t made any progress, there’s still a week until the deadline. Just don’t leave it until the last minute.

Second, keep tabs on all expenses and include all the information required. Make sure you don’t miss any sections out on the form, and include all earnings, including dividend income on any shares you own. You don’t want HMRC to reject your tax return if there are any mistakes, so also allocate time to double-check the form before you submit it.

Third, use tools available to you. The days of doing everything by hand are long gone. Software’s are available to give you a helping hand when managing your accounts, so do a bit of research to figure out which app is best suited to your business. Making use of these tools will make your life a whole lot easier; think of it as an investment.

Finally, if you are really stumped when it comes to your tax return, you can get a professional accountant involved who should be able to take all the stress away.

Yes, this will come at a cost, but you have to consider if that cost outweighs the penalty from HMRC. Seeking advice from an accountant on your finances can be invaluable to your business, particularly later down the line as your company grows.

Fulfilling tax obligations can be one of the biggest barriers to the success of a business, but don’t let it stop your company from having a prosperous future.

For help filling your tax return give us a call on 01612056655 or email us on or check our website for further details