The study also revealed only 10% of firms put IT as the number one business issue on their agenda. In the wake of the government’s recent announcement that the UK should be the centre of the electronic business world, smaller accountancy practices are in danger of lagging behind larger organisations in the new digital economy.
Firms must be equipped to handle a wealth of new accountancy services over the Internet, such as e-tax returns, payments and transactions online, electronic self assessment forms as well as e-marketing. Additionally, accountancy software firms are encouraging users to manage all of their relevant business information with the launch of electronic filing systems.
However the survey highlighted fresh evidence that accountants are not yet ready to jump on the internet bandwagon. Despite 34% of small and medium-sized firms having invested in a website, they are still unprepared to make the move to do business online, with only 19% considering ecommerce a priority in the future.
Marisa Kacary, marketing manager of Compaq’s small and business Group, said: ‘The small accountant of the future does not put ecommerce high on the agenda, although out of all the vertical sectors surveyed, the accountancy market as a whole cites IT and computer systems as being most critical to meeting their business objectives (58%).’
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