We recently encouraged Australia’s accounting firms to review their technology choices. This would ensure their practice software is making use of their data and also help them to better interact with both colleagues and clients. Business context now with the impact of the cloud – and the imminent advent of automated ‘intelligent accounting’ – is delivering a different operating environment for us all. Change is the one constant here that we all need to prepare for.
Our goal with Future Fit is to have firms assess where they are on this journey and to benchmark their IT solutions. So, we were interested in the recent findings of the first round of the Wolters Kluwer Future Fit survey.
Online participants and attendees at the recent Accounting Business Expo event completed our Future Fit interactive online tool. Designed to be a ‘fitness test’ for practice software, over 100 professional Accounting firms shared their status on how practice software could better support their growth, efficiency and profitability.
The Future Fit survey found only 17% of respondents believed accounting firm partners and managers were receiving real-time information on budgets, WIP and job progress so they can manage exceptions as they happened.
Numbers increased as more than 25% of survey respondents indicated they would like to have access to more reliable information to better manage workloads and estimate fees.
The largest response however related to a lack of ability to plan ahead. Over 57% of Future Fit survey respondents confirmed they were running the usual reports to highlight job overruns, though it was often too late to do anything but write off a chunk of the WIP. That’s revenue and revenue means potential profit.
This initial round of results we believe needs further examination – there are gaps between the IT solutions in operation and the potential productivity and performance outcomes of modern IT solutions that perhaps should be in operation.
Client expectations have changed irrevocably and if your firm is exposed to outdated systems that don’t deliver real-time insights, greater transparency and capacity planning, then it stands to reason you may be unnecessarily operating under more pressure than ever before.
Accountants remain the number one trusted advisor for Australians, but with over half of firms polled admitting they are writing off potentially profitable business – we need a better plan to stay ahead of the changes our industry is experiencing.
Try the Future-Fit Practice Gym for yourself at www.cchifirm.com.au/futurefit
Krista Moore | Director, Marketing and Communications, APAC, Wolters Kluwer
With two decades’ experience in transformational technologies, Krista today leads a team of marketing professionals charged with empowering accounting firms to maximise technology and business outcomes.