The accountancy sector is currently going through fundamental change. Technology, digitalisation, regulation and client expectations have impacted in recent years in a way that is unprecedented. Most small firms are struggling to cope with the pace of this change, creating huge opportunity for those best prepared to embrace it and develop innovative, technology-led services.
These changes are likely to be accelerated as a result of Covid. We all hope that we are now on the way to recovery, but we will be dealing with the legacy of Covid for years to come. Most of us have had to cope with the stress and anxiety it has created and sadly, many have had to deal with personal loss. Businesses have struggled and have sadly failed in some cases. Debt in the small business sector and in the economy as a whole is at record levels. All of this will shape our futures and the accountancy sector will be no exception.
We are already seeing recovery and it’s possible we will now see the biggest period of growth for a generation as we all work to get back to some sense of normality. Businesses will need to deal with the debt Covid will have created for many, but will also have to cope with rapid growth and perhaps changes in consumer demand and buying patterns. All of this will challenge business owners, who in turn will be looking to their accountants for help understanding their businesses and support as they plan for the future. The role of the accountant and the services they are expected to offer will have to change to reflect this.
We will also see the current and future Governments having to cope with the record levels of borrowing in the economy. Over time, this will have to include fundamental changes to our tax systems, with the likelihood that the overall ‘tax take’ from both businesses and individuals increases. This will drive demand for effective communication, support and tax planning for clients. Again, accountants need to be ready for this change.
TaxAssist Accountants prides itself on being at the forefront of the changes facing the accounting industry, leading the way to ensure our accounting individuals and practices are the first choice for small business services and dedicating ourselves to help our accountants build a successful, profitable and future proof ‘one stop shop’ business. We were there for our clients throughout Covid, increasing our communication and support to help them cope with the huge changes and challenges they were facing.
With a network of more than 400 highly visible high street shops and offices across the UK, everything is client-driven and our accountants are ideally placed to take advantage of the opportunities that change is bringing. Key changes for the sector over the coming years are set out below – software, Making Tax Digital, client advisory services and future tax changes – and ignoring them could cost you dearly.
Accounting in the Cloud
Cloud-based accounting software has revolutionised the way accountants operate and interact with their clients. To stay one step ahead of the competition, and to be at the cutting edge of new technology, you need to be able to offer a service that attracts and retains every kind of small business client.
At TaxAssist Accountants, we continually research, evaluate and recommend the best software to suit the needs of our network and its clients. This is an ever-changing arena we monitor closely to ensure we offer first-class training and support to our franchisees and their staff with the advent of each new development. The implementation of leading cloud-based technology has enabled our network to increase efficiencies and develop even stronger relationships with their clients.
TaxAssist Grantham, Melton Mowbray & Oakham
When looking at accountancy franchises, TaxAssist Accountants were 'head and shoulders' above the rest in terms of their offering, professionalism and straightforward approach.
Making Tax Digital
Many software changes are linked to Making Tax Digital (MTD) for business, a Government project aimed at putting tax information together in one online place. Intended to bring the UK tax system into the 21st Century, by providing businesses with a modern, streamlined service to keep their tax records and provide information to HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC).
We have already seen the impact MTD for VAT has had, which is now in place for VAT registered businesses. This has forced many businesses to adopt digitalisation and embrace suitable cloud-based software. It has also challenged accountants who were not prepared and could not offer their clients advice and support when choosing and implementing new software.
The next phase of the planned rollout of MTD will cover income tax, with corporation tax planned to follow. Eventually, we will see every taxpayer in the UK needing to comply with this new system, with quarterly returns for most.
At TaxAssist Accountants, we've spent a great deal of time training and developing the right support services to help our accountants support all taxpayers through this period of change. HMRC will not be offering software to help clients report quarterly, so we have already partnered with Intuit QuickBooks and Xero to help make managing accounting records easy.
Client Advisory Services
Not surprisingly, the nature of client advisory services is evolving to take technological changes into account. This means our industry needs to be adding new services to their practice portfolio not only to stand out from the crowd, but because clients now expect their accountant to offer an enhanced service, including business support and advice.
As advisors, we need to be more than good accountants. We work alongside our clients, building relationships, helping them to better understand their business and supporting their informed decisions. Advisory is not about selling dashboards, forecasts, or apps – apps don’t provide advice, we do!
MTD will accelerate the development of advisory services. As businesses and individuals move to digitalisation and cloud-based software, accountants will have access to ever more ‘real time’ data. This will fundamentally change the way accountants work with and advise their clients.
At TaxAssist Accountants we care about the success of our clients’ businesses and our current client advisory services include tax advice, bookkeeping, management accounts, forecasting and business planning. We also have an extensive range of additional service providers offering services at beneficial rates to our franchisees. All of this helps us support our clients to help them achieve their goals. Our Trustpilot rating reflects this, with feedback from clients on a daily basis which can be found here.
Future tax changes
The UK has one of the worlds’ most complex tax systems and it seems likely that we will see significant changes over the coming years as Governments try to cope with the legacy of Covid. Tax will always be a priority for clients, who will need to be informed of any changes announced and helped to make sure they understand and can plan for any impact.
TaxAssist Accountants has a team of tax specialists supporting and advising its accountants to ensure they can provide timely, practical communication and advice to their clients.
First choice for small business services
TaxAssist Accountants prides itself on being at the forefront of the changes facing the accounting industry, leading the way to ensure our accounting practices are the first choice for small business services and dedicating ourselves to helping our accountants to build successful, profitable and future proof ‘one stop shop’ businesses.
With a network of more than 400 highly visible high street shops and offices across the UK, our accountants are ideally placed to take advantage of the opportunities that change is bringing.
TaxAssist Accountants has risen to 21st in the latest Accountancy Age Top 50 Firms survey. TaxAssist Accountants entered the Top 50 back in 2010 as the UK's 34th largest firm.BACK TO TOP