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How does your business assess and implement new technology?
In part one of our four-part series on the top IT challenges faced by the accountancy sector, we discussed the importance of strategic leadership. In part two, we take a look at the technology itself, showing how you can make it work for your firm and, as a result, increase efficiency and profits.
But first, you need to ask yourself an important question: Do you believe that, in the next five years, the accounting industry is going to be affected by technology?
If your answer is yes, think about this follow-up question: What are you doing about it now in order to prepare for that change in the next five years?
We are often asked for advice on adopting new technologies and assessing their suitability in order to help firms implement what is right for them and deploy it successfully.
What are you doing to make tax digital?
The government’s Making Tax Digital initiative has wide repercussions for the accountancy sector. Firms now need to install and implement compliant software packages in order to be able to meet HMRC requirements and ensure their clients are also ready.
Your fee earners must have the right tools to help them to work more efficiently. It may well be that their job involves a lot of repetitive tasks that could easily be done automatically by IT software, freeing them up to take on extra fee-earning work.
Biggest isn’t necessarily best
We have had new clients come on board who, when it comes to technology, have gone for the most high-profile ‘best of breed’ systems, but now perceive this as a mistake due to the lack of integration between applications and platforms. Whilst there are one-size fits all solutions it may well be best in the long term to invest in integration and middleware rather than throwing everything out and starting again. It is therefore our job to understand what your firm is trying to achieve, how it works and what your primary challenges are, and then do a gap analysis in order to be able to recommend the technologies that are best suited to your firm and target the areas that will bring you the most success.
An independent view from an external consultant can give you a different perspective on the technology and solutions available what is and is not needed. We will take a holistic view of your firm to assess the best path for your firm going forward, one that will not require you to rip everything out and start again.
Improving customer service
The right technology can also help your firm improve its customer service. When your staff are on the phone to clients and have to wait for a slow computer to catch up, it will reflect badly on your firm, not to mention the time your fee earners are wasting. We recently deployed new hardware for one client who estimated that the increased speed and performance of the new technology saved fee earners 5-10 minutes every morning, the time they had previously spent waiting for their computer to boot up. If you replicate that across the whole business, then the firm is making a considerable ROI in terms of maximising possible fee-earning time.
Working as an outsourced Chief Information Officer, we will assess and implement the right hardware and software to enable your firm to run more efficiently and profitably. We will also ensure all staff are trained to use the technology in the most effective way – in some cases, companies have the correct technology, but staff have not been trained to use it properly.
In part three of our series on IT challenges for accountancy firms, we will look at how technology can help you provide great client service – something that is fundamental to retaining business. If you would like our advice about the right technologies to use in your accountancy firm, please call us on 01442 500890 or email email@example.com to book an appointment.
Lumina Technologies have taken the time to understand the requirements of our business and work as our strategic IT partner, enabling us to concentrate on delivering a high quality service to our clients and focus on our growth strategy. They have delivered a 100% cloud solution to our business with no underlying infrastructure costs or maintenance, which gives us scalability for our planned growth. It also means our business critical applications and data are securely accessible from virtually all our user devices. Lumina’s professional approach and strategic expertise is highly valued and their management of our IT – based on their in-depth knowledge, leaves us confident that our systems are available 24×7.
Luke Harrison, Keidan Harrison LLP
Lumina have supported us so well through the difficult circumstances of 2020. They worked extremely hard to ensure we were able to work remotely and continue to operate our business successfully.The support team are very friendly and knowledgeable, and have excellent response times.
The team have also enhanced our cyber security which is so important in the legal sector, and they continue to provide high quality advice to help us move forward with our IT goals.
Adams & Remers
The quality of IT Support provided by Lumina Technology is of the highest standard and is complemented by effective client liaison with impressive response times. Trap Oil Group plc has no hesitation in recommending Lumina as a dedicated and specialist group of IT professionals.
Technical Director, Trap Oil Group plc
Richard and his team are a real inspiration to anyone who meets them and I have watched Lumina’s growth over the last few years with interest and admiration. Richard has been an amazing supporter of the Hospice of St Francis, being a Gold member of the Corporate Partner Network for almost two years. He takes an active interest in the community and is passionate about his company and his town: nothing is too much trouble, he is always willing to help, to give up his time and to provide business advice when asked. Lumina is an inspiration to any company wanting to set up business in Hertfordshire.
Corporate Fundraising Manager, The Hospice of St Francis
Lumina Technologies Prism Hosted Desktop has allowed our business to centralise our global corporate data, allowing much faster access for all our staff – regardless of their location. We have also been able to simplify and reduce our infrastructure and management overhead. With the new Prism Hosted Desktop solution all staff now have simple and secure access to corporate data using any device they choose. Prism Hosted Desktop has increased the productivity of our staff and given us a single, consistent and familiar experience for all users from any device, in any location, 24/7.
Chief Executive Officer, Wentworth Resources PLC
The commercially sensitive and regulated nature of Lambert Energy Advisory’s business requires an IT provider able to maintain the highest levels of integrity and confidentiality, Lumina Technologies has consistently been unimpeachable in this regard over the nine years we have employed them.
Lambert Energy Advisory
It has been a great pleasure working with Lumina Technologies over the past two years. They have fully committed to being involved in the local community with volunteering and with professional advice and commitment, helping many local charities along the way. As a growing company it proves that being involved in the local community is helping them attract and retain a talented workforce and I look forward to working with them well into the future.
Hawkstone Management Services Ltd is a small company for which IT Outsourcing is realistically the only viable option. Lumina Technologies have successfully performed this role for over fifteen years. They also provide innovative solutions to keep pace with technological progress. I would have no hesitation in recommending Lumina to similar sized businesses.
Hawkstone Management Services Ltd
Charles Douglas Solicitors LLP have been using Lumina Technologies for a number of years now and continue to be impressed by the technical know-how and contemporary knowledge of their senior management, who provide a timely, efficient and friendly service. Whether it is a small issue with one computer, or a strategic IT decision, they maintain a current knowledge of available technologies. Lumina are always at the other end of the phone to help resolve issues and minimise business interference. The technical knowledge of Richard and his senior team means that there has not been a problem that they can’t solve to date. I am sure we will continue to use them in the years to come.
Managing Partner, Charles Douglas Solicitors LLP
The team at Lumina Technologies have made the Amoun Travel & Tours office IT transition seamless and problem free. The office set-up has been vastly improved and the IT Support services are flawless. No issue goes unresolved, which is extremely reassuring.
Amoun Travel & Tours Ltd
Lumina Technologies has been Salamander Energy plc’s IT provider since start-up in 2005 and has supported us in London during our expansion across operational offices in SE Asia. Their professional approach, strategic advice and close co-operation have been essential in making this a success.
Group Technical Director, Salamander Energy plc
Richard and his team at Lumina have provided Perrett Laver Limited with high quality strategic and practical IT Services for over ten years. During this period, Perrett Laver has grown from 10+ colleagues based in London to nearly 100 colleagues located in six offices across the Americas, EMEA and Asia-Pacific. Richard and the Lumina team have not just been responsive to our ‘everyday’ IT needs, but have proactively sought to work with us on developing an infrastructure suitable for the type of operation we are today, and are planning to be months and years down the line. I would not hesitate to recommend Richard, especially for small to medium size business with growth in mind.
COO, Perrett Laver Limited
Society Limited has been supported by Lumina Technologies since our earliest start-up phase. From large logistical challenges like an office move, through to smaller fiddly issues like fixing a faulty e-template, we know we can count on their support and advice. They’ve also been able to engage with us strategically on the challenge of scaling-up our infrastructure as the firm continues to grow and evolve. We always feel confident going to Lumina with a problem, since we know they genuinely care about sorting things out and helping us to get on with our core business.
Managing Director, Society Limited
The Vita Group HQ staff have worked with Richard McBarnet and Lumina Technologies for over 9 years, with Lumina providing all our PC, server, phone, and software support. The services have included C-level executives based in London, Manchester, the US, as well as supporting home office IT as well. The service provided and intellectual capabilities are outstanding and we would highly recommend Richard and his Lumina team.
CEO, The Vita Group
We worked with Lumina on a GDPR Audit. Richard was knowledgeable and professional throughout, and did the best he could to bring a dry topic to life through lots of real life examples and analogies. We were so impressed with the service Lumina provided and the value we got from partnering with them on this project – we couldn’t recommend them enough.
Holly Cottingham, Vintec Laboratories