February 20, 2021
Accounting has diversified over the years. From a pencil, ruler, pen system that depended highly on manually keeping the books – things have now changed considerably. The year 2020 has geared us even further towards these changes. Change is such a difficult aspect – it is no surprise that change has been slow-moving. The reason, however, for change to have speeded up (especially in a field primarily considered orthodox), because we are living in dynamic times – times made even faster due to the coronavirus (our still present unwelcome guest), but to every black cloud, there is a silver lining. While both clients and accountants have had to embrace a new approach adapting to the change is what has prepared as well as pushed us towards the accounts outsourcing trends of 2021, and whether you are a client or an accountant, you certainly stand to benefit.
1. Move over files – it is the era of automation
Most accounting records need to be kept for at least seven years (with the exception of payroll that can be stored for a mere three). However, this is easier said than done. Storing these files would be challenging enough, but that is not the only point to consider. When working manually, especially when calculating, there are higher chances of errors. Hence, though automation initially frowned upon, one will find that the HMRC also has been in the process of embracing the same.
A word of caution here: Payroll software might have made things easier by doing the calculations for you. However, half knowledge is dangerous. Just inputting the figures are not enough. Actually, being aware of the nuances too goes a long way especially in specialised subjects like accounting. Thus, when in doubt it is better to ask an expert to take care of things rather than get a penalty notice and then find out that an error had occurred.
2. Getting the GDPR right
Following the point elaborated upon, it does behove one to keep an eye on data protection as well. The General Data Protection Regulation implies that data cannot be left carelessly in the open without proper security of the same. While physical files could be locked up or biometrically separated by condoning or restricting their access – softcopies of data are much easier to hack into. Therefore, upgrading security, password protecting documents as well as easy accessibility of documents is part of the new trend. Clients can now easily review their documents via email, or send in timesheets or email queries and data theft would not be an issue as when sensitive data sent over, it can be password protected.
You can never be too compliant: GDPR compliance is an important moot point here. Clients should be aware of the GDPR compliant measures that are in place and accountants should not hesitate in answering queries on the same. Remote working might have made things easier (and proved invaluable during the national lockdowns!) but caution is a must here. Technology after all, though of great use has been often misused.
3. Getting your head in the clouds was never better – welcome Cloud Accounting!
Buying accounting software and maintaining it is not cheap. With the system space it takes up the installations of the latest updates and then furthermore the storage of reports time, space and of course, monetary consumption – all run up the bill. On the other hand, in one swoop movement cloud-computing does away with all of this. It makes the accounting data easily accessible to both the accountant as well as the client. During the pandemic situation, it was impossible to sit at one’s office workstation and work at a dedicated PC – cloud accounting provided to be a lifesaver as once you have the credentials it is easy to login in and do work.
Moving out of comfort zone: Furthermore, it is understandable to be at first a bit shy of new technology. However, remember the rule of thumb. Technology has been invented so that things can become easier, thus, instead of figuring things out all, you need to do is get around doing them. Practice makes perfect.
4. Make the most of the tools in hand
Face-to-face communication is what most clients expect from their accountants. Technology has been of assistance on this front as well. It might be difficult to follow accounts by ear, use of video conferencing applications has definitely made life easier. All you need to do is arrange a comfortable-time for a good chat, instead of your accountant coming over or you going all that way yourself.
What’s at your disposal might be your best bet yet: Clients have become more open-minded with versatile means of communication as post-2020 the world will see video calls in the same light as normal voice ones. Being a conferencing tool, it is possible for more than two individuals to use the software or application even if all the members situated at various places.
5. It is not all that bad to ask for advice – the new trend in your accountant’s business makeup
The financial difficulties of 2020 realise business owners that the role of an accountant not confined to managing the books. If they want advice, where better to apply than to their accountant? Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the government has introduced many relief measures ranging from furlough, Bounce Back Loans, Eat Out to Help Out Scheme; and the like. It is difficult (to put it mildly); for an employer to be on top of all the latest information from the HMRC. Therefore, the accountant is not only a data analyst but an advisor and a sounding board for what are the best steps for a businesses’ financial planning.
A penny saved might result in a pound spent if not careful! When it comes to tax planning, monitoring your inventory, getting a healthy look at your expenditure – the one person who has all the details is the accountant. Starting with tax planning at the beginning of the year will ensure you pay the right tax while paying lesser tax than you might have otherwise ended up paying. Thus, when considering accounting trends to emulate in 2021, it just isn’t technology that has evolved; the whole accountant and client relationship have as well – and those are all changes for the better.
Therefore, as the role of accountants continues to evolve both clients and accountants will find themselves on their toes. Doshi Outsourcing with over two decades of accounting and taxation experience and a varied list of clients has embraced these multiple roles. With unlimited telephonic, email advice on day-to-day accounting matters, assistance and quality work delivered on time is guaranteed. You can call or Email us to get more details.