Technology – Questions & Answers.

Each week we talk to an expert in the technology field. This week, John Tate, chairman of IT consultancy Tate Bramald, offers his views on the effect of technology on accountancy firms.

What impact has technology had on firms externally?

There are a number of issues practices face regarding technology. Increasingly, firms are offering advice on the web, but that creates its own challenges, such as the threat of losing revenue streams, as more information is now being offered free on the internet.

And internally?

There is still a lot of duplication of administration. The web can reduce the cost of transactions by as much as 10%. The image of many firms is that they are hi-tech driven. But behind closed doors accountants have some of the worst systems in business.

Overall, is technology a help or hindrance?

There are plenty of good niche examples where technology has assisted greatly. One such example is Lotus Notes for audit work. Overall, however, there is still a long way to go.

Should technology enthuse accountants?

Internal environments are becoming fantastic to work in. The ability to share information and collaborate using technology should excite most accountants.

Do you have any technology questions you want answered by senior industry figures? If so, email

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