Over recent years, digital transformation has become more and more ubiquitous among the business world. According to recent statistics, over a third of companies have already undergone the process, while 85% of businesses indicate they aim to do so within the next two years.
Of course, the world of accountancy is no exception to this trend. Any accountant wishing to stay competitive with their rivals must move with the times and transition to digital to stay ahead of the curve.
While the initial efforts and expenses that digital transformation demands can act as a deterrent to many accountants, the benefits that the process will offer in both the short and long term make it an essential endeavour.
Here’s a quick breakdown of what exactly digital transformation entails, which advantages an accountant can expect it to add to their daily operations and how it can be achieved easily and efficiently.
What is digital transformation?
Simply put, digital transformation means the introduction and integration of digital technologies in all aspects of a business. With regard to accountancy, this means waving goodbye to paper records, transitioning to a cloud-based desktop and automating all of the labour-intensive menial tasks like data entry and invoice logging.
The benefits of digital transformation
The immediate benefits of doing so are largely self-explanatory. By digitalising and automating many everyday chores, accountants can save countless hours of mind-numbing manual labour and free themselves up for more important tasks. What’s more, the days of scrabbling around for long-lost receipts or searching out elusive tax records will now be a thing of the past. With all information stored safely online, accessing it is as simple as one click of the mouse.
The fact that this data is now located in the cloud also means you can access, amend and share it remotely, meaning accountants no longer need to be restricted to the office to get things done. It’s also backed up online and secured behind the cloud provider’s defences, meaning it’s safe in the face of any eventuality.
A secondary (but equally important) consequence of moving into the digital sphere is the radical effect it will have on a company’s way of doing things. By introducing digital capabilities into a place where only analogue and manual ones existed before, a business can re-assess where it was losing productivity, performance and profit, and challenge itself to improve these processes to optimise its overall operations. For any company – whether in the accountancy sector or otherwise – that’s a goal well worth pursuing.
How to achieve digital transformation
The benefits listed above are enough of an incentive to make digital transformation a top priority for any company. So why have two-thirds of them not already begun the process? Concerns over up-front costs, logistical teething problems and software incompatibility can put CEOs off the idea. But doing so is really only delaying the inevitable as digital is certainly here to stay.
The prospect of transitioning to digital should be viewed as an opportunity rather than a challenge and, if approached in the appropriate manner, should not be an overly taxing process. Here’s how it can be achieved in three easy stages:
The first phase in the process is actually moving things online. First and foremost, this will involve contracting a reputable cloud hosting provider, who can provide everything needed to store and access data in a digital format. Regardless of how things were managed prior to the transformation, digitalising the process is guaranteed to streamline operations and make them more efficient in the future.
Once the new system is in place, it will need to be populated with the relevant records. By uploading digital records of receipts, invoices and bills online, accountants can remove the need for paper copies of anything, freeing up a whole load of physical storage space and eliminating an incredible amount of legwork. There are plenty of apps and programmes available which can automate this process for you as well, saving countless hours of mindless data entry.
With the infrastructure and the information now ready to go, all that’s required to complete the process is the human input. Automation can save massive amounts of time and effort, but there’s nothing quite like a human eye for detail to ensure everything is running as smoothly as possible.
Given that all records are now accessible at the touch of a button from anywhere at any time, getting on with providing the insights and expertise that makes accountants so valuable to their clients will now be easier than ever.
Start your digital transformation
With digital transformation, it’s a case of when rather than if. The sooner you get started, the sooner you can reap the rewards. Green Cloud Hosting is on hand to help with your accountancy firm’s digital transformation. We provide fully-managed hosted desktops for accountants, making it easy to transform your business.
Call our team on 0161 979 0691 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss your options with a cloud hosting expert.