The new rules of accounting: why being connected is key

Accounting is no longer just about reporting and compliance. Digital and cloud technology has changed bookkeeping forever by automating and simplifying financial tasks. Now accounting is undergoing the same digital or technology transformation.

Clients need accountants to help them prepare for the complex challenges of the current and future marketplace. This couldn’t be more true than in today’s uncertain times. They need traditional reporting and compliance help but what they want, need, and value more, is advice. Success in the future will come to those firms that use technology to connect. Connect up their teams with their clients to make collaboration easy. Connect real-time client data with automated accounting processes or reporting. This speeds up the work, improves its accuracy, and frees up valuable time and team resources to invest in understanding their clients’ businesses. Teams can then use this data, and the insights they gain from it, to power the firm’s advisory services. We call this connected accounting – a fundamental shift in purpose for accounting firms from a focus on delivering a transactional, compliance or reporting service to the creation of an advisory relationship.

The four sights of connected accounting

You are a connected accountant when your firm has successfully passed through four key stages of digital maturity. We call them the Four Sights of Connected Accounting. As you pass through each stage your firm, team and clients are more connected; you unlock new opportunities for greater productivity; develop new services; improve your competitiveness and create more revenue.

Download a copy of the detailed maturity curve to help you create your own technology strategy for connected accounting here.

Fullsight

This is the foundation of connected accounting, and focuses on data. The digitisation and consolidation of all client financial data, whatever the source, in one central data hub. All this data is accessible to accountants and their clients, anywhere, at any time and on any device - at home, on the road, in the client’s or firm’s office. Fullsight is about creating a reliable and single source of truth – a complete vision of all client data, up-to-date and available at all times. The basis on which all work – compliance or advisory – can begin.

Hindsight

Here connected accounting moves from collating and standardising data, to utilising data in practical ways. Hindsight is all about applying data in automated accounting workflows or processes to create an accurate view of the past. To streamline compliance and reporting processes and improve their accuracy.

Insight

Insight puts you in the best position to offer advice and guidance to your clients. You have the tools to look at the meaning behind the numbers and extract valuable business intelligence. Teams can also contact clients directly when immediate action will have the most impact on their business performance.

Foresight

Finally, the connected accountant moves from looking at past performance to using data and analytics tools to predict the future and power the development of new value-added advisory services. Foresight is the final step in the transformation of a firm from compliance reporting to trusted business advisor. Our connected accounting maturity curve allows you to assess your current technology capabilities and see what you need to do to progress. Each sight contains the use cases you need to assess your maturity. These include – but are not limited to – data consolidation, benchmarking and real-time communication. If you already have some of these capabilities but have not yet unlocked others further along the curve, then you can easily see what to do next. Connected Accounting will transform the way you work. It will improve the quality, speed and competitiveness of your compliance business, your flexibility and make it easier to deliver advisory services that will unlock new revenue streams and deepen client relationships. Join our free on-demand webinar to hear how you can become a connected accountant and how to create a successful technology strategy for your firm.

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