Traditionally SME accountants have been slow to embrace technology, according to many accounting software vendors. A recent survey found accountants in business are increasingly responsible for driving what is called ‘a new business revolution through the increased use of technology’.
The surge of technology use among accountants has the support of their bosses, according to the report, released by financial software provider, Pegasus, which last year became part of the Systems Union Group.
It found 90% of SME company managing directors said they were satisfied with their accountants’ skills, with nine in 10 MDs also confirming that their FD is proactive in suggesting new technology to improve and drive efficiency in their office.
The survey also revealed four out of five MDs employ FDs with broader business skills rather than pure accounting – encouraging the sharing of accounting data to other employees in order to encourage a greater understanding of the financial needs of the company.
Paul White, MD of Pegasus, said: ‘MDs of small businesses are actively employing finance directors with broader business skills – and that match is working well. Not only are both parties happy but the accountants appear to be driving a new business revolution.
‘The key to embracing and exploiting new technologies such as email and internet is having sound financial and business software systems. Reducing security worries by relying on robust systems allows businesses to save money and concentrate on their core activity – supplier, customer and employee relationships.
‘And the savings being made by embracing new technology today will strengthen businesses against any threat of recession.’
The savings – the equivalent of Pounds 15,500 for each small business in the UK – are being made as firms abandon traditional banking and reporting methods, set up web services and give wider strategic roles to techno-savvy FDs.
White added: ‘This new generation of IT-literate accountants is having a huge impact on the success and development of small businesses in the UK as they drive their companies into a new technological era.’
Meanwhile, nearly two out of every three accountants quizzed confessed services such as web access and emails are increasingly having a significant affect on their business – and almost 40% confirmed they now use internet banking for their company.
The report from the 250 FDs and MDs showed there was room for improvement, as some 50% of MDs suggesting they would like their FD to be even more knowledgeable about technology.
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