The relationship between cost and value for digitisation could be one that you've considered in your firm, or for your clients. But it's helpful to look at the long-term impacts that can often eclipse the short-term costs.
It could mean that you adapt your firm's mindset towards going digital, and set yourself up for the accountancy of the future. We offer some key insights that can help you and your business.
We all know investments aren't black and white. The right ones can help to create more revenue over time. But how do we know what's a good investment? The cost of a new set of computers is more straightforward to see than the potential value they could bring later down the line.
A big reason businesses see the cost of digitisation as more critical is its immediacy. Your firm or your client's business likely has limited funds, so when you look at the expenses, the cost of one action over the other is crucial.
Implementing new systems or operating technology can mean you have the setup costs, and the additional adjustment period of training employees on how best to use it.
But short-term thinking only creates short-term results. The decision not to invest in new technology saves money but could cost the business in the future. For example, clients may opt to work with companies which can provide innovative digital services.
It's not that the consideration of current costs isn't essential, they'll always be a critical point. But in a modern business landscape which changes rapidly, you should not undervalue the benefits of staying ahead.
The value of data isn't usually on balance sheets, but it's becoming increasingly crucial for businesses. Client's who use advertising can use data to pinpoint their ideal customers and reach them in more effective ways.
Your accountancy firm can use data to understand your operation better and improve your services. You can identify the common issues your clients face, and be ready with new ways to solve them.
The array of machine learning and artificial intelligence programmes grows each day, to offer businesses new ways to compile larger data sets on any aspect. Increasing data collection possibilities requires a proactive approach to improving or upgrading technologies.
Communication with your clients could be a critical factor in creating long-term relationships that benefit your firm. Improvements in technology can mean that you open up the possibility for more channels to use and quicker responses.
If you seek to be as available to your clients as possible, then taking the best possible steps to ensure you make them feel heard offers excellent value. Additionally, it could mean that you can work with different people within an organisation to help resolve accounting issues.
Aside from offering a better service, increased commercial engagement can also mean that clients can provide feedback. They can give you quick and accessible praise or suggestions for improvements.
With the ability to gather reviews from past clients in real-time, you can use those testimonials to market your firm and gain new business.
If you can improve the technological systems within your operation, you can offer a more flexible approach to working with your accountants. They may be able to work from home and adopt a better work-life balance for themselves.
When your workers feel as though they have more control over how they work, it can mean that they become more motivated within their roles. A productive workforce can suggest a better quality service that you provide clients and less likelihood of workers leaving.
The value of a low-staff turnover means fewer recruitment and training costs to find replacements, as workers go elsewhere. Digitisation can mean that your accountants have their say on their work, but still use the right tools to do it remotely.
You're likely already aware of the frequency of changes within regulations and laws that affect accountancy. But keeping up with those could be time-consuming and difficult if your firm still uses paper processing.
Digitisation can mean that you can update your processes at the same rate as any regulations, which keeps you agile. It's simple to make digital changes, and you can edit past documents quickly.
Instead of large stacks of paper or filing cabinets, a digital-savvy firm can use cloud servers to store all of the past work. That means it's always accessible, and it's less likely that you’ll lose anything important.
One of the significant digitisation points that's likely to affect accountancy is AP automation. It can mean that you help your clients streamline their financial management approach and allow you to analyse it easier.
The introduction of AP automation can mean that invoices can be sent, received and stored electronically. There's also the ability with accounting software to convert a paper invoice into a digital one using tools like phone cameras.
With AP automation, the relevant approvers can make a payment of an invoice in one click. Clients can replace a time-consuming manual process with an automated alternative.
AP automation works through digital software. All of your client's payments and information are easily stored. That means that they can compare or audit their invoices at a moment's notice.
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