The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way businesses around the world operate. No industry has been immune to these massive changes in the way people work and interact with the professionals they trust. Face-to-face meetings have been replaced by video chats, for example. Even as the world begins to open back up, many of the changes that have taken place over the past year are likely here to stay.
For accounting businesses to remain competitive, they must adapt to the new digital way of doing business much like other businesses are being forced to do. While some may return for the classic in-office meeting or lunch meeting; others will prefer to continue to carry out their interactions virtually. For accountants, there are a number of trends to be aware of and, thankfully, many different solutions to help capitalize on these trends.
Perhaps the biggest trend that has formed in offices around the world is the rapid transition to working from home. Some companies, like Shopify, Facebook, and Twitter, have indicated employees can choose to work remotely moving forward, even after the pandemic is completely over. Others have offered staff a hybrid working model.
Of course, working from home poses challenges for many businesses and the clients they interact with. In accounting businesses, data is king. Client files need to be stored securely but accessible instantly. With managed IT services, businesses can easily access the technology they need to their specific situation in order to ensure operations can continue smoothly no matter where employees are working from.
Of course, it’s not just the employees within the business that need to be taken care of. Clients that opt for virtual meetings will need secure video chat capabilities that conform to rigorous compliance standards.
As any accountant is surely aware of, the job involved a lot of manual tasks, data input, and analysis. While necessary to the job, many of these tasks can be time-consuming. Ultimately, they take away from the client experience as accounting professionals are spending more time completing menial processes. With managed IT services, workflows can be streamlined to automate basic tasks and take those off the plate of busy professionals. This gives staff more time to connect with clients and focus on more challenging tasks that require their attention and expertise.
In just a few years, 75% of businesses are expected to have implemented some form of automation. Businesses that fail to do so may find themselves quickly falling behind their competition. It’s important for businesses to consider the cost savings afforded by enabling their staff to do their best work without being slowed down by time-consuming tasks which could be automated. This is especially true in an industry like accounting where professionals demand pay that reflects their experience and education.
Taking Cybersecurity Seriously
Cybersecurity is quickly becoming a hot topic in the business community. As many people transitioned to remote work and began using new digital tools to help complete their work, cyber criminals were taking advantage of the change rapidly occurring before their eyes. Cyberattacks reached an all-time high in 2020 and the trend appears to be continuing in 2021.
For businesses that rely on sensitive client data, like accounting firms, any cyberattack could prove to be devastating. Businesses need to develop plans that address both protection against cyberattacks as well as disaster recovery planning in the event an attack occurs. Managed IT services address both concerns for better protection and better planning should the unthinkable happen.
Making the Change Today
With so much changing in the world of business, there has never been a better time for accounting firms to assess their digital transformation needs and begin implementing the solutions required to stay competitive and lead the industry. The habits of clients and employees alike have changed drastically over the past year and this presents a unique opportunity.
No two businesses are alike and the solutions needed by each business will differ. For firms looking to make a change, it all begins with a complete digital transformation assessment to identify areas of improvement and potential opportunities to advance the business.
Doing Better Business specializes in managed IT services for accountants and can provide a holistic approach to digital transformation. To learn more or to request a thorough consultation, contact them today.