As with other industries impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, the world of accounting is seeing rapid changes in the way business is conducted. There has been a marked shift away from time-based billing strategies, the addition of more advisory work on the horizon, and an escalation in the number of remote working teams.
By the very nature of this shift, more accounting firms are moving to a digital environment, eschewing paper-based organizers and tax returns for contactless interactions and more efficient streamlined digital workflows.
For firms that want to gain — or hold on to — their competitive edge in this digital economy, having a well-defined IT strategy for your accounting firm is an essential element of success.
But how do you develop such a strategy, particularly if you don’t have an in-house IT department?
The Essentials of a Strong IT Strategy for Accounting Firms
Accounting firms are hives of activity — even when it isn’t tax season — so keeping employees productive is a critical aspect of strong firm management. Your IT infrastructure not only supports your staff as they move through daily tasks, but it should also provide a secure environment in which to manage the kind of sensitive data accountants often manage.
Here are four smart ways to create an IT environment that does what you need:
- Invest in Tech
It is tempting to pocket profits and keep holding on to legacy software and infrastructure, but that would be a big mistake. Instead, take the leap and embrace technology that can help move your accounting firm to the head of the pack, allowing you to remain competitive through improved management of processes.
Begin by evaluating your current infrastructure, identifying legacy tools that no longer serve your goals, and replacing them with leading-edge tools and technology.
- Choose Tools That Boost Efficiency
Think about your clients’ needs and choose the tech tools that can help you manage theirs — and yours — better. For example, streamlining processes, providing portals that enhance the client experience, and choosing document management software to give you rapid access to information can all boost your firm’s efficiency and effectiveness.
Quality, business-grade software will be an essential element to success, as will solutions that help with information organization, such as document or enterprise content management tools.
- Streamline Processes with Automation
Consider streamlining workflows with process automation. Today’s savvy accounting firms are using algorithms, artificial intelligence (AI), and machine learning to deliver insights that drive smart strategies for their firms — and their clients.
Automation can reduce reliance on error-prone manual entry and provide a host of advantages, including an uptick in productivity and profitability.
- Address Security Risks
Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) regularly handle a great amount of financial information that is both sensitive — and vulnerable. In fact, cyberattacks have been on the rise in the industry, in part due to an increase in remote work and adoption of digital strategies.
For smart protection, be proactive. Working with a third-party provider with access to leading-edge knowledge and technology can help to assess risks and vulnerabilities and address them using an effective cybersecurity risk management solution that evolves over time.
Trust Doing Better Business to Help You Manage Your IT Environment
Many of today’s businesses, especially those that are classified as small- or medium-sized (SMBs), struggle to develop a strong IT strategy. In part, this is because it costs a lot of money to hire the right IT talent to provide the kind of 24/7 support that is needed.
Our technology partners have the leading-edge knowledge and access to the right tech tools to help you develop an IT approach that will directly address and serve your business needs and goals. After implementation, our team acts as your partner to keep your system maintained, updated, and modified as your business strategies evolve and change.
Contact a representative from Doing Better Business and discover the advantages our IT solutions can provide for your accounting firm.