Top 50 + 50: Growth amplified for firms investing in technology

Top 50 + 50: Growth amplified for firms investing in technology

Over £73m invested in technology by top 50 + 50 accountancy firms

The Top 50 + 50 UK Accountancy Firms survey has revealed that the UK accountancy sector is investing more in technology than ever before.

Since the survey was last published, the top 100 ranking accountancy firms spent in excess of £73m on improving technological services.

The latest figures from the report reveal there is a direct correlation between investment in new technologies and revenue growth.

The firms that reported investing in technology in 2020 benefited from an overall fee income increase of 10.26 percent, which is 2.9 percent more than those that didn’t.

While return on investment in the tech sector is high, those firms that capitalise on artificial intelligence (AI), cloud-based software, and data science are more likely to put increased importance on improving innovation over their counterparts.

  • Investment in technology increased year-on-year from 1.37 percent to 1.8 percent of total fee income
  • Across the full 50+50, ranking firms invested 0.7 percent of their UK fee income in new technologies
  • 27 respondents invested more than £100,000 in technology in 2020
  • Of those that invested over £1m, four were ranked outside of the top 10
  • Nearly 50 percent of firms offer advice on accounting software investments

Pandemic shines spotlight on need for technology

The pandemic has reshaped the way every industry operates and the accountancy sector is no different.

In August, PwC chairman, Kevin Ellis, stated the Top 50 + 50 number one ranking firm expects to see a blend of office and home working once the pandemic is over.

“Automation will continue, but the pandemic has highlighted the inherently human skills that AI cannot mimic, such as resilience, adaptability, empathy, creativity and critical thinking,” he said.

While offices aross the UK have reopened, investment in technology during the pandemic has put businesses in good stead for the possibility of a second wave.

In fact, if businesses are forced into a second working from home scenario the transition will be much more seamless now that the infrastructure is already in place.

Future trends

Despite increases in technological investment apparent from Top 50 + 50 firms, the report analyses trends from the past financial year meaning that the full impact of the virus on tech investment is yet to be seen.

At the beginning of the year Silverfin published a report revealing that 62 percent of professionals surveyed store all client data digitally. With remote working reaching an all-time high between March and July we foresee this figure rising.

We also expect firms to have spent more than ever before on performance enabling technology, as accountants look to offer clients better services.

Interestingly, only around 50 percent of Top 50 + 50 respondents offer advice on accounting software investments, a figure that has remained stagnant in 2020.

Now more than ever, an uptake in firms offering advice in this vital area is due, as increasingly more companies switch to cloud-based applications to deal with the challenges associated with the pandemic.

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