With a looming recession set to hit Europe, businesses are on high alert and are looking for ways to streamline their processes and cut costs. There is no denying that technology has improved the way business is done in many spheres. And while firms continue to move into the digital space of conducting their business, problematic legacy technology is still a reality for many.
Accountants have often found themselves being the first point of contact during uncertain times, particularly with their evolving advisory role. The importance of being equipped to deal with challenges is a key focus within the industry.
“The frustrations of legacy technology are not always innately felt by accountants, where I think it comes to light is when talking to their colleagues and peers and hearing about some of the improvements or the more efficient ways of working. Not knowing what is available to improve what you do and make your practice more efficient can be frustrating”, says Kevin McCallum, CEO of Bright, a leading provider of accounting, payroll, and practice management solutions to businesses across the UK and Ireland.
The trend of digitalisation is one that has seen massive growth within the industry based on its numerous advantages. And as more firms move towards accountancy technology, the industry’s rulebook is being completely re-written.
Factors like the Covid-19 pandemic, cost of living crisis and increased hybrid working have also contributed to the change in how accountants work.
“There are different ends to this spectrum, firms that are completely remote do so because they have the software support and capabilities. On the other end, the current cost of living crisis has seen people wanting to work from the office to save on their energy bills in their homes. Firms must make decisions based on the composition of their business, but we are not going to go back to the way things were”, says McCallum.
One such software support solution is BrightPay’s extension product BrightPay Connect, which takes your payroll to the next level. It introduces online features including an automated cloud backup, online employer dashboards, annual leave management tool, client payroll submission and approval requests, and an employee self-service app. The payroll itself is still processed on BrightPay’s desktop application but the payroll information is stored online on a secure cloud server. BrightPay in the cloud is coming soon to the UK for 2023/24.
“There will be several challenges that the industry will be met with in the coming years but what will be beneficial is the general upskilling by accountants. Accountants need to think about the type of services they can provide that make them profits, you can do lots of work for people, but you do not want to lose money. This is largely predicated on the software solutions and digitalisation available to accountants”, says McCallum.
How technology is changing the accounting industry
00:40 The challenges of legacy accountancy technology
04:00 How technological changes are impacting the accountancy profession
07:22 What are some of the biggest challenges the industry will encounter in the coming years
How the industry is being shaped post-Covid-19 pandemic
10:40 How the pandemic and hybrid working shaped the industry
13:25 The benefits of implementing accountancy technology upgrades