Not that this is surprising. I’ve seen first-hand how technology changes such as the rise of cloud accounting have helped businesses reduce administration tasks and increase cash flow.
The flow-on effect, and the most profound impact of cloud accounting, has been to free up Accountants from a compliance focus so they can move from bean-counter to business adviser.
This has revolutionised their role in helping their SME clients – rather than the traditional one-off tax-time interaction, and preparation of compliance documents that are already out of date by the time they’re printed, SMEs are now reaping the benefits of working more closely with their Accountant throughout the year to develop, implement and actively monitor strategies to help them achieve their business growth and profitability objectives.
Consequently, nearly half (48 percent) of the 400 SMEs surveyed said Accountants are the professionals they turn to when the going gets tough.
I’m certain this trend will continue, as more clients reap the benefits of cloud computing, and therefore have 1) more accurate and up-to-date at their fingertips and 2) are easily able to share this information real-time with their Accountant.
But of course, merely having accurate and timely information is only useful when you use it to inform your activities. That’s where Accountants have been adding real, meaningful value to more and more clients through the provision of business advisory services (as opposed to compliance-only services).
There are other technology factors affecting this relationship that I’ll cover off in more detail in a future blog.
But every Accountant worth their salt should, if they haven’t already, set themselves up to capitalise on the opportunities provided by cloud accounting – opportunities to engage more deeply, proactively and profitably with SME clients.