ACCOUNTANTS are failing to utilitise their role as a trusted adviser for small businesses and missing out on revenue growth opportunities, according to a Sage survey.
RTI came into effect in April and forces companies to report PAYE information in real-time as opposed to monthly or annually as was previously the case.
Its introduction has boosted the perception that accountants are the most trusted business adviser. However, less than half (46%) saw the introduction of RTI as an opportunity to grow their revenues through advisory services with just 17% actually utilising the opportunity.
More than a third (34%) of accountants said that RTI led to reduced profit margins on their payroll division. This is despite 73% claiming that small businesses came to them for advise before the introduction of RTI. However, just a quarter used their accountant to help them make the payroll transition.
"The UK accountancy profession has passed the litmus test for trust with three quarters of clients turning to the profession for advice on the biggest shake-up to payroll. But that trust hasn't necessarily translated into uplift in revenue, and so RTI will be seen as something of a missed opportunity by some," said Paul Tooth (pictured), managing director, Sage Accountants Division.
Tooth recommended that accountants use the upcoming auto-enrolment more wisely to increase advisory revenue. Auto-enrolment, which comes into effect at the end of the year, will force all employers to automatically enrol employees into a pension scheme.
"RTI demonstrated that accountants are perfectly placed to guide small businesses through major legislative changes. At Sage, we believe there is a real opportunity now to add value to clients by giving them the tools and confidence they need to prepare for auto-enrolment, and we are committed to supporting our customers to do this," he Tooth.
Sage surveyed 400 accountants in practice and 508 small businesses.
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