How to future-proof your accountancy business

Technology is fast changing the world, and technology itself is changing fast. Accountants not on board with the latest technology will find themselves unable to keep up with the marketplace – client expectations, competitors’ pace, and the latest legislation.

Not only must accountants adopt digital tools, but they must also adopt an overall understanding of the digital landscape, a mindset of adaptability, an eagerness to learn and a willingness to be flexible.

Change is the only constant

We know the next thing will come along, but that can’t stop us from taking the next step now. The pace of change can feel overwhelming sometimes, but that is why it’s so important that we dedicate time and resources to it.

We can be grateful to have access to tools that enable us to market ourselves easily, make processes more efficient and automate tasks to let us focus on higher-level work. With a bit of time, these tools are also easy to learn how to use. Make a small time investment upfront to save lots later down the line and improve your business in the longer term.

Digital Decoded: 24 February – 31 March 2022

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7 ways to future-proof a business

1. Utilise the data you have available to its maximum potential

Avoid the guesswork and use all the data you have to make positive, proactive decisions for your business and keep your team, clients, and other stakeholders better informed.

2. Stay ahead in your sector

Keep a close eye on your competitors and what they’re up to. Attend lots of events and training to make sure you’re bang up to date and constantly generating new ideas. Also, look at different sectors to see if you can learn from them and apply techniques that others in your industry might not even be considering.

3. Have a niche

It’s impossible to be everything to everybody and do it well. Choose a niche for your business and own it.

4. Always be marketing

Have short, medium and long-term strategies to reach prospects, including newsletters, social media, content marketing, website optimisation, and paid ads. Even when you’re busy, you should proactively put yourself out there. You never know when things could change and what other opportunities it might bring.

5. Have a clear business model

Know what your business model is and communicate it. Make sure it includes how you create customer value, a pricing proposition, profit formula, key resources and processes. 

6. Have contingency plans

Plan for the worst, hope for the best. Have a plan and savings to create a buffer and back-up if the unexpected happens.

7. Prioritise people

Even with all the technology in the world, people are still your most vital asset and how you treat them speaks volumes about your business. Create a strong culture, be open-minded and encourage collaboration. Have great processes in place for client relationships, recruitment and retention.

7 ways that technology helps to future-proof a business

  1. It creates speed and efficiency by automating tasks and standardising operating procedures.
  2. It will help identify cost savings, additional revenue streams, and ways to boost productivity and profit.
  3. You can drive more sales leads.
  4. It shows industry leadership and professionalism.
  5. You will understand the business more by having better visibility of data, business performance and the ability to compare.
  6. It will give increased confidence and the ability to make better-informed decisions.
  7. It can help to minimise risk and offer increased security.

What is a digital transformation plan?

A digital transformation plan is a long-term, strategic plan to use digital technologies to update or create new processes for the business.

What are the five main areas of digital transformation?

  • Managing data
  • Operational processes
  • External marketing
  • Customer relationships and experience
  • Internal organisational change
  • Communication and collaboration become easier.

Creating a digital transformation plan

Creating a digital transformation plan for your organisation will:

  • Help develop an overall business strategy to compete more effectively.
  • Demonstrate that a forward-thinking mindset, future-proofing and adaptability are priorities.
  • Ensure that you prioritise adopting appropriate new technologies and training.
  • Help attract clients and the best talent looking for a progressive organisation to work with.
  • Encourage internal ambassadors and develop business culture.

Digital Decoded: 24 February – 31 March 2022

Join us for this six-part webinar series to get the practical understanding you need right now to start capitalising on the digital revolution in your day to day work – whether you’re working in a finance team or running your own business.

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Further reading

Sophie Cross is the Editor of Freelancer Magazine and a freelance writer and marketer at Thoughtfully.

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