In this guest article by practice owner Graeme Tennick, he shares why finding the right balance of technology is crucial.

In the digital age we live in, we must stop behaving like a robot before we are replaced by one.

Whilst I’m not going to focus on one piece of software here I am going to focus on the point that if you do nothing you will be out of business in no time at all. Being ‘software-drunk’ is a thing and we’re still suffering from the hangover!

Given the unprecedented amount of change in the profession, a lot of accountants are feeling lost and overwhelmed meaning that one of two extremes are commonly being adopted:

  1. Ignore it and stay as you are, or
  2. Go hell for leather and rule the world

If you do nothing; you could soon be left with nothing!  The world is becoming a smaller place and the industry as a whole is coming under greater scrutiny than ever; not just from a legislative perspective but from a price perspective.  This means that following the introduction of technology; to deliver compliance-based services alone can quickly become a race to the bottom. Unqualified ‘call-centres’ of staff are quickly springing up doing things more efficiently than ever. This means that your clients can choose an accountant anywhere in the country or even possibly abroad who will often be able to undercut you.

If you go in the opposite direction and go hell for leather then you can quickly invest in too much software (software drunk) that YOU THINK clients want. The result of this is that you quickly over-commit in terms of time and spend and under-deliver in terms of results.  Your staff rarely have time to breathe, learn or even educate clients and your clients feel exactly the same, as you’ve gone from one extreme to the other but with a significant financial burden sat on your head. i.e. the ‘hangover’.

By embracing and implementing change in a far more balanced way means that you don’t need to break the bank to break the current mould and it ensures that you are more resilient than you are today and around for many more years to come.

Do accept though that when it comes to technology, you will have to pay for it before you get paid for it. Start using it yourself first in terms of using the software before you go to market with it.  A difficult concept alone given the prudence of us accountants but one worth acknowledging before you try to find your balance.

Graeme Tennick

Graeme first trained in small private practice before moving onto PwC and then the Public Sector before setting his own firm up, Graeme Tennick & co, in 2012.  As his firm grew, so did the problems, which alongside the speed of innovation within the profession meant some harsh lessons needed to be learnt fast. It’s what has been put in place off the back of these lessons that Graeme shares up and down the country today.