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59 per cent of accountants have joined the cloud - Are you being left behind?

on 23 November 2023

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Posted by Wayne Pope

We get it: digital solutions can be scary.

However, a recent study* revealed that 59 per cent of accountants have embraced the cloud and are actively exploring automation solutions.

That means a staggering 49 per cent are being left behind and will not reap the benefits of the digital transformation.  

These figures represent a move away from tradition, away from security and from what you have always known about your profession.

You might say: “Well, my firm is doing just fine without fancy new software. What’s the big deal?”But you are probably overlooking the price to be paid for not embracing technology.We aren’t just talking about the missed opportunities for profit here. There really are costs to not embracing technology.

If you can’t beat them, join them…

According to some studies, a staggering 89 per cent of companies have adopted or are planning to adopt a digital-first strategy.

This shift should tell you a lot about the serious nature of the issue and about how your competitors are reacting.How do you expect to compete with a firm that has embraced technology to the full and is reaping the benefits?

The competition will no longer experience the associated costs of manual, human processes that you continue to experience and struggle with.

Firms resisting the digital transformation are going to start experiencing the hidden costs soon enough.

Hidden Costs

Lost opportunities

The cost of missed opportunities is already clear to see when clients go to bigger firms with higher levels of IT and technology integration.

In addition, 56 per cent of CEOs acknowledge that digital improvements have directly boosted revenue through opportunities that were previously unavailable to them.

Digital tools offer enhanced data analytics, real-time reporting, and improved client engagement – which are currently unavailable to you or your team.

These advantages could be pivotal in identifying and capitalising on new market opportunities but currently serve to hold you back and will continue to do so if you fail to embrace technology

Inefficiencies and reduced productivity

The ‘Burroughs Adding Machine’ was introduced in the late 1800s and revolutionised the accounting profession. It removed the inefficiency of using an abacus or mental arithmetic.

In 1978 the first spreadsheet system was introduced, bringing accountancy onto the computer screen. This removed the inefficiency of written data entry and employing dedicated bookkeepers.

Traditional accounting methods were once the only way for firms to operate – but those who failed to embrace these new technologies quickly went out of business.

The same thing is happening now and the technology in question is digital and increasingly based in the cloud.

Just like the innovations mentioned above, digital tools streamline processes, reduce manual labour, and minimise errors.

Of course, this leads to increased efficiency and productivity, which results in more billable hours and greater time to focus on your practice. 

The market is increasingly dominated by firms that leverage technology for better service delivery and streamlined workflows. Without digital transformation, accountancy firms risk falling behind and losing their competitive edge in an industry that is rapidly evolving.

The cost of catching up

The pandemic has accelerated the digital shift, with four in 10 companies hiring IT or technical staff since 2020.

This trend is set to continue, with two-thirds of businesses expecting to hire more IT or tech roles.

For firms that have delayed their digital transformation, the cost of catching up – both in terms of financial investment and time spent on IT – can be substantial. But, when compared with a digital solution, the IT expenses don’t make sense.

Why pay for an outsourced IT firm – or even your own IT department – when cloud-based, automated solutions could perform the same process?

Embracing the inevitable

The hidden costs of shunning digital transformations in accountancy are significant.

With 87 per cent of senior business leaders considering digitalisation a priority, it's clear that the shift towards digital is inevitable.

It's time for accountancy firms to embrace digital tools and strategies, not just to stay relevant, but to thrive in the digital age. As a result, you might as well be on the digital journey too.

The choice is stark: adapt or fall behind.


Glasscubes can help you with the digital transition , click here to find out more.

* Study can be found here.



About this author: Wayne Pope

Technical Director at Glasscubes. With over 30 years experience in the online software industry, Wayne brings an in depth technical expertise in collaborative tools, technology, and best practices.