The Impact On Your Recruitment Strategy
Today, there’s so much talk about digital transformation. Do you find yourself swamped by a tidal wave of surveys, statistics and research, making it hard to know exactly what digital transformation is and what it means for the accountancy sector?
Well – let’s start with a definition of Digital Transformation –
Digital Transformation is the introduction of new technologies or upgraded IT into the business. So it’s a combination of the things accountants have been hearing for years, such as cloud computing, big data and mobile.
Depending on the survey you read, there are also different levels of maturity in the market as well as wide differences of opinion as to the benefits of digital transformation.
IT advisory and analyst company, IDC, reports that two-thirds of SMEs are using a digital transformation strategy to improve their businesses. Meanwhile, a survey by YouGov found that digital transformation had the potential to massively cut back man-hours and repetitive tasks. This, of course, will free up your talented accounting and business minds to focus on strategy and client care.
Carlo Gualandri, founder and CEO of multi-user spending account provider Soldo, says, “In the UK, we are spending £8.72bn every year on finance-related admin tasks which, although necessary, could be dramatically cut down by using the right tools and software easily available”.
In recent years, Accountancy practices have found that cloud computing drives down costs and enables the creation and enables the creation and analysis of much larger datasets. This potentially brings greater compliance transparency, as well as enables you to more easily spot anomalies and trends.
Furthermore, invoice automation can help Practices to comply with different types of legislation.
Focusing on end-users
However, the internal workings of your Practice shouldn’t be the sole focus of digital transformation. Of equal, or even greater importance, should be how the new technologies shape the way in which your clients interact with your Practice.
And again, there more to digital transformation than simply technology. You also need to consider the impact it will have on your Practice culture, structure, processes and even personnel. In order to be fully digital, you need to be thinking about refreshing your existing business models, the people you hire and the way they work.
Change for change’s sake – don’t be tempted
Make sure your Practice doesn’t get carried away with making digital technology changes for change’s sake.
Begin by thinking about the positive impact you want to achieve in
- the functioning of your accounts team – saving them time or removing manual tasks
- your ability to provide clients with the financial insight they need for better decision making
- the impact that this financial insight can deliver and how it can enable your clients to stay one step ahead of their competition.
You might find your employees are wary of a digital shift coinciding with fewer jobs in the finance function. You can, of course, respond by assuring them that such changes will allow them to add value elsewhere. You’ll need to think about developing the skillset of those people whose jobs are being automated, potentially taking them out of their comfort zone and even away from the parts of finance that attracted them to the profession in the first place.
One step at a time
Perhaps the best advice for any Practice embarking on digital transformation is ‘great – but stay cautious.’
Changing too much too soon could be a recipe for disaster. Planning is critical. The actual tie span for change isn’t what matters. More important is to work towards a fluid position where your Practice can continually adapt and change as technology develops.
Nothing worthwhile happens overnight. Start by making simple shifts. Workflow software will help you to prevent bottlenecks and the break down the barriers of communication between different departments. Think about hiring a digital officer to oversee the digital shift in each and every function within the business.
Talk to us about upskilling your staff or recruiting people with the up-to-date skills that will transform your business, bringing it into the digital age, keeping you ahead of your accountancy competition.
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