Traditionally, accountancy has been predominantly a manually run industry with minimal use of modern technology. Not so long ago, the concept of remote working was a fantasy for the majority of workers.
The Digital Surge
However, the outbreak of Covid-19 has exposed weaknesses and revealed how unprepared businesses were when it comes to technology. It has shown the inability of companies to maintain operating their business efficiently when they have been forced to close their premises during lockdown, but also the complexity of starting them up again. The above has resulted in a surge of digital transformation. The pandemic has forced organisations to urgently implement new technologies & software’s in order to meet ever-changing clients’ business demands. The products and culture that would have taken years to change in normal circumstances, were implemented in a matter of weeks.
This has not only made traditional accounting mind-sets adopt a digital transformation, but has also added a new portfolio of services that firms can now offer their clients. These gains are mutually beneficial; firms are now providing more value-added services, that were previously unknown to most of the industry. A prodigious amount of investment is now being made into data analytics, artificial intelligence & auto-connect software’s. Firms have identified the importance of an alignment between the front and back office. They have realised the importance of a smooth flow of information between client facing staff and those at the back-end of services, in order to deliver quality value-added customer services. This will inevitably lead to a structured growth of the firm and in turn attract new clients.
Risks & Rewards
Digital technology is also making a difference to clients’ businesses in the form of having the latest software’s implemented across their finance function. This allows the numbers to flow freely across the businesses’ landscape, resulting in timely and informed decision making. This also significantly cuts down the client’s time and effort where they would have been previously involved in ensuring their numbers are reconciled. Consequently, this allows them to focus their attention and effort toward more important matters; their business.
As with almost everything, the benefits come with risks as well. Going into lockdowns, many businesses have realised that they can no longer rely on manual supply chains and have invested in new technologies to make the process more automated, including using AI to provide advanced warning of possible disruptions. Most of this has resulted in job cuts as an ever-increasing amount of human work is now handled by machines. Moreover, remote working and digitalisation has increased the risk of cyber threats and more finances required to be invested in IT security, resulting in cashflow issues. Also, due to this massive influx of demand, the IT companies have made pressured decisions, putting customers and their systems at risk.
Many companies have simply “copied over” their traditional systems to a digital platform, resulting in missed opportunities to reflect on and take a fresh approach to enhance their business processes. As more and more services are becoming digital, the need for a fresh start is the only solution for most businesses. Careful and informed investments are required on a range of IT platforms, always keeping in mind that any current and future business strategy will be technologically driven. Operating in a recession hit economy will always be challenging, but now is the opportune moment to digitally evolve the business so when the economic up-turn comes, businesses are ready to grow and are more profitable than pre-pandemic levels.
At GOOD ACCOUNTS UK, our staff have extensive knowledge and experience of advising and implementing cloud-based systems to our clients’ businesses. Utilising our advice and support, companies shall be able to implement more structured and robust systems that will significantly enhance their digital capabilities and safeguard against any future threats of a similar nature to Covid-19.