This is a guest post by Lara Mulady, Senior Content Strategist at Pleo – an end-to-end expense management solution that seamlessly integrates with Xero.
Accounting has always been a careful balance of calculations and consulting. But when push comes to shove, it’s often the strategic consulting work that gets pushed to one side to make time for the time-bound and legally required ‘traditional’ bookkeeping tasks. Digitalisation and automating your accounting processes can change your business overnight.
We know many accountants lament the loss of strategic, hands-on work that helps build long-lasting and trusted relationships with clients.
It’s a tough reality, especially given the fact that 68% of our partners think consultancy work will become more important within the next five years as the world increasingly goes paperless.
We’ve seen a slow and steady shift towards digitalised compliance by governments around the world, particularly when it comes to managing tax – but this is only the beginning.
To provide the very best consultancy and advisory services to your clients, embracing this shift to digital can set you apart from your competitors – not just because you’re now a ‘digital-first practice’, but because these digital tools and services give you more time to spend one-on-one time with your clients solving their business challenges.
More authentic interaction with clients
What do we mean by digitalisation? It means automating time-consuming accounting and finance tasks, reducing paper handling and manual data entry. It basically means, the grunt work is taken care of (while also reducing the risk of human error).
We know that many accountants are concerned that increased automation will remove the human element of our industry, but in reality, it’s quite the opposite.
In just a few clicks, you can see reports, insights and digestible analytics enabling you to strategically work together with your clients face to face.
What should be digitalised?
Invoice processes, expense reporting, cash flow forecasting, payroll management, practice management, client onboarding, tax reporting and preparing financial reports can all be automated, and the list will only grow as more businesses embrace digitalisation – and governments move away from archaic paper-based processes.
When businesses are on the lookout for a new accountant – they will more likely choose a fully-digital practice experienced in automation tools freeing them to provide strategic business advice.
We believe that we will see a fundamental shift in how practices are run over the next 18 months, with those embracing digitalisation having a strong advantage over those that don’t.
Spending time where it matters
Ultimately, the more you digitalise your practice, the more proficient and productive your practice becomes, the more clients you can handle, and the more of that precious personal time you have for each client to build trust, and long-lasting relationships.
Pleo’s end-to-end solution not only gives businesses complete spend visibility but it also makes bookkeeping a breeze. Pleo’s Partner Portal enables you to onboard clients yourself, enjoy detailed spending analytics and real-time bookkeeping. You can also make the most of automatic receipt consolidation thanks to our receipt scanner and Fetch that pulls receipts directly from your inbox. If you’re interested in Pleo, you can find more information on the Xero App Store.
Come and meet us at Xerocon London at Tobacco Dock at room EP+3 on 20-21 July. We’ll be bringing our famous Pleo Receipt Booth; catch the golden receipt and you’ll be in with a chance to win a trip to Copenhagen on us!