How to Build a Next-Gen Accounting Firm

Creating a modern business to provide for your next generation of clients

The whole world is automating. What will it look like in the accounting and bookkeeping environment in the next 5 years? And how will your business adapt to the change. 

On a recent weekend away, I was driving to my destination and wondering “what did people do before Waze existed?”. How did we find the correct route without pulling the car over to bring out a heavy map book and attempting to figure out where exactly we even are on the map? Never mind the thought of who communicated to us when there was an incident up ahead or even worse, speed cameras. 

It is something an older generation ask often – what did we do before technology?

Working at a software company, I  immediately thought the same for the industry I serve. I decided to sit down with those who have not yet embraced the change. And also with those who form part of the ‘younger crowd’, who don’t really know a world without technology and automation. 

The business model of the past

Manual and paper-based appear to be the theme. “We receive large boxes from my clients filled with papers that we then capture manually” explains one of the accountants that I spoke to. He further explains that these clients that are still following this model do not actually want to change. They like the status quo and the fact that they do not have to do much and their accountants rather do everything for them. 

No more paper, printing or filing is required for accounting and bookkeeping firms
No more paper, printing or filing is required for accounting and bookkeeping firms

While clients are satisfied, this approach results in between 12 – 50 hours of processing time, depending on client size. This obviously results in a slower turnaround time and can obviously also present several instances of basic human error. 

There are also always two sides to a story. While this model meets clients needs, it has the opposite effect on the team actually performing the tasks. Another accountant explains that “we target a diverse client base so that we are not only working with those who prefer the older methods”. 

The lack of adaptation to change means accounting companies who are not staying up to date with new business models are not managing to necessarily employ the best and most adequate staff. This is due to the ‘younger generation’ of accountants wanting to be a part of the more tech-savvy and flexible accounting and bookkeeping firms which accompany today’s approach to accounting. 

What does your future client base look like in the accounting and bookkeeping environment?

From SMEs to multinational enterprises, the new mindset is already established, or in the process of change. These organisations have already found value in automated technology and have found ERP solutions that match their needs. They want to collaborate with those who are ahead of the game.

“Our offices in certain locations have gone completely paperless to meet both business goals and work better with our clients.” 

Told by an accountant discussing the future of accounting

The more recently graduated chartered accountants who are lucky enough to work in top global accounting firms only know seamless automated processes of the highest standards. And hence provide this same value to their clients. 

The next generation of clients expects their accountants to only work within secure digital platforms with remote capabilities and real-time access to data. They demand the highest levels of interactions and streamlined processes. 

How to start a new journey

As Waze advertises on their website – “we could all go for a lot less traffic in our lives”. 

The time is now to change your mindset. Not to take away from what has served the industry so well until now, there is however always room for improvement. The shift to eliminate the “traffic” or bottlenecks in your current processes can too only provide greater advancements. 

With a refinement of your technical infrastructure and the offering of a truly value-adding service, there can only be more opportunities if done right. Operating within a cloud-based environment, especially in a Covid-19 world, is appealing not only to your clients but to your team as well. 

DOKKA is here to get you going and ensure you can advance along with your next generation of employees and clients alike. As a global cloud-based solution that automates the entire accounting process and integrates it into most ERP solutions available, a new business model is easy to establish. DOKKA has been developed to assist you in retaining your current client base and attracting a new generation of clients.

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