Sep 2021

Old school way of accounting doesn’t work in the digital age

By: Odyssey General, Outsourcing

Apart from the incredible workload that has descended upon Australian accounting firm owners as a result of the raft of recent legislative changes and support initiatives, at the same time there has been the rush to digital.

It’s been quite a rude wake-up call for Australian accounting firm owners during the WFH (Working from Home) period, and still many accountants have refused to migrate their mental mind set over to the cloud.

The previous working tools and processes have needed re-engineering, and resistance amongst old school accountants is now becoming a drag on their firms.

Accounting firm clients are now remarkably reluctant to have in-person meetings given concerns over virus spread (if not lockdowns), which means deployment of new technology including video phone conferencing, secure means of exchanging data, digital signatures etc.

And this includes older bookkeeping methods that do not reflect cloud systems. For example, month end reports make little sense when data is available online/realtime.

Accounting firm owners have ham strung their businesses through continuing to use internal systems that are antiquated: “pen and paper”, offline spreadsheets (or word documents or whatever), offline customer databased that are distributed (several addresses and contact details for each client!). 

Not only are these internal systems inefficient, but newer accountants are likely to be unable to understand “pen and paper” processes as they deploy different techniques, and they fully expect all work will be backed up in the cloud. Losing a laptop isn’t an issue for the newer generations – reset a few passwords, then pickup a new laptop and continue working (it’s like hot desking, but with laptops).

If accounting firm owners should be prioritising anything right now in their spare time, it should be developing better systems using digital technologies, and continuing to enhance and refine those systems that are already deployed.

At the same time, when considering outsourcing, you should be working with an accounting outsourcing provider who has fully deployed digital technologies in their workspace, and continues to enhance and refine the systems deployed to support outsourcing.

If you’d like to chat about how Odyssey can assist with your outsourcing then please drop us a line.

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