Why you need to build a future fit practice today

Why you need to build a future fit practice today

Wolters Kluwer explains how greater efficiency and productivity can be achieved through the use of expert solutions and digital tools.

Why you need to build a future fit practice today

With the growing use of technology in the accountancy profession, firms have started questioning their approach to data. While many still feel reluctant to leave the old spreadsheet behind, progressive firms have adopted digital tools to optimise their efficiency and increase profit.

Wolters Kluwer has worked hard to prove that the use of technology gives rise to greater efficiency and productivity by providing expert solutions to its customers during these uncertain times.

By future-proofing their practice, firms have attained an increase in both productivity and efficiency, a positive journey which many have shared.

A fresh approach to compliance software

As new accountancy regulations have emerged, like Making Tax Digital, firms have gradually requested the help of software companies to improve their process of data analysis through the adoption of new digital services, an approach that many have deemed beneficial.

At Graham Smith Chartered Accountants for example,  the use of Wolters Kluwer’s software has enabled the company to modernise and increase both its productivity and growth.

Before this, the firm had a mix of stand-alone software applications for different functions, which did not provide any integration between individual packages and contained no form of shared database, meaning data had to be re-entered on multiple occasions. Simon Reed bought the business back in 2018, and his brother Alex soon joined.

Alex Reed, Tax Manager at the Cornwall-based accountancy firm, believed, at the time, that the firm needed a fresh approach to compliance software – suggesting that an integrated suite of accountancy software would generate efficiency. Following a detailed evaluation of software options – an important task given it would determine the firm’s future compliance work – Wolters Kluwer’s CCH Central software was chosen.

Reflecting on the firm’s decision, Alex explains: “Both Simon and I had used Wolters Kluwer software extensively in previous firms and found it a fantastic product, so it was a no-brainer. Having said that, it wasn’t a foregone conclusion, and we benchmarked the software for functionality and price against a competitor of Wolters Kluwer.”

The CCH Central suite is a central database of tax, accounting and practice management software which shares information to improve growth and streamline efficiencies within the practice. When implementing the software, Graham Smith Chartered Accountants prioritised the processing of personal tax returns. This enabled the firm to help clients meet the required 31st January deadline.

Thereafter, the firm started to use CCH Accounts Production and CCH Practice Management as its workforce progressively grew.

“It’s not only that we need to enter client details just the once; data rolls through from one software product to another, saving a lot of time in the process. For example, once you’ve done a set of accounts, the corporation tax return is largely populated automatically. This makes life so much easier.”

After adopting Wolters Kluwer’s solutions, the firm encountered an increase in growth and productivity, in which turnover more than doubled in the first year.

Streamlining processes

Meanwhile, at the West Midlands firm AGS Accountants, Director Steve Aston believes that using cloud technology and the fully integrated suite of software tools from Wolters Kluwer highly benefited the firm.

He explains: “By making our processes more streamlined we’ve generated capacity. By doing that, it enables us to grow within the existing workforce. The efficiencies made in the business have helped us as directors to have more time to spend with our clients and offer the added value services that they need.”

Cloud technology and the integrated suite has opened an opportunity for growth at AGS Accountants, in which the extra time saved permitted directors to offer more advisory services to their clients.

Improving data entry

Loucas, a firm of Chartered Certified Accountants based in London and the South East, has experienced similar results after using the software from Wolters Kluwer – where the integrated suite of software applications improved the data entry process for the firm whilst enhancing efficiency.

Director Athos Louca explains: “We pretty well have all the Wolters Kluwer products. They all talk to one another, which saves a lot of time as data flows from one product to another. I can’t think why anyone would want to run their practice on an assortment of software, just to save a few pounds, when you can have everything you need from a single source, all joined up.”

When talking about pre-paperless years, Athos recognises that a digital shift was necessary for the firm’s access to data.

He says: “Electronic document management really has been a success for us. We used to have about 50 filing-cabinets back in the day; so, I reckon we would need about 150 now. Imagine the expense and inconvenience of housing all those. We’re not constantly reinventing the wheel. As well as being more efficient, it ensures consistency in our client communications and mitigates the risks of human error.”

Reluctance to change

Dean Shepherd, Lead Product Manager for Compliance at Wolters Kluwer, says he believes optimising the compliance lifecycle is key to an accountancy firm’s productivity.

Whilst many practices remain reluctant to change, particularly in moving from standalone providers to an integrated software suite, Wolters Kluwer believes the cost of not moving to an integrated suite is often overlooked.

Managing your practice with an integrated suite of tax, accounting and practice management tools allows workflows to be optimised and consistent across the practice. Combine that with a fully paperless ecosystem and automation at your fingertips and you will wonder why you didn’t make the investment years ago.

Find out more about how you can optimise your compliance processes, beginning to end, by downloading the Optimising the compliance lifecycle article.

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