The role of the accountant has changed massively in the past couple of decades explains Rob Selley, partner at our member business AC Mole & Sons:
Your accountant should now be more of a business advisor helping you to save money and time, and providing proactive advice. Much of this has been made possible with the availability of new technology so that many of the repetitive tasks and processes that a business owner has to endure can now be replaced with automation. This can increase efficiency and improve the accuracy of the financial information that is being provided.
The power of the internet and use of the virtual cloud allows tasks to be performed from any location and enables information to be shared securely. This frees up more time to focus on business strategy and provides a more timely way of working.
Developments in accounting software has also freed up time to enable your accountant to focus on more proactive services instead of having to wade through handwritten cashbooks and ledgers. Management accounts and forecasts are now far easier to prepare and analyse. These are also a vital tax planning tool which aid budgeting and forward planning.
We are also seeing a far greater use of mobile devices to run and manage businesses so that all the accounting functions can be performed on the move. Invoicing can be carried out straight away, at the touch of a button. This helps with cashflow and again reduces another administrative, time consuming burden.
Finally, like it or not, the use of social media is playing a huge role within accountancy and other businesses. It can be a very effective sales and marketing tool, enabling you to reach many thousands of existing and potential customers with relative ease. Social media should form an integral part of a firm’s business strategy and is an incredibly cheap form of advertising.
Who knows where we will be in the next two decades but at A C Mole & Sons we always try to be at the forefront of new developments, sharing these with our clients and making sure they don’t get left behind in an ever-changing business world.
Rob Selley is a partner at A C Mole & Sons Chartered Accountants; you can follow him on Twitter at @RobAtACMole. He can be contacted on 01823 624450.