Top IT challenges faced by the accountancy sector – Part One

8 May 2019 Lumina Technologies
It support for accountancy

Strategic leadership

In this four-part series, we are going to take a closer look at the main IT challenges faced by the accountancy sector. While many firms understand that IT is a necessity, they are more likely to take the view that it is a necessary evil, rather than a valuable resource that, with the right investment, could help increase profits.

In the first part of the series, we take a look at IT strategy. Having a top-level overview of IT provision that is aligned with your firm’s future plans is an essential part of your firm’s success.

What does strategic leadership look like?

You do not want an IT system that’s pieced together as and when something new comes along because ultimately it will not align to your business goals. Strategic leadership at board level affords an overview of a firm’s IT needs and business goals, ensuring they are closely aligned.

You know your firm lacks strategic leadership if:

  • your IT strategy is simply a list of projects
  • you can’t explain which business challenge a specific IT resource is there to fix
  • you’re spending more than the industry standard on IT (between 6% and 8% of revenue), but are still scratching your head as to how the business is moving forward
  • your IT budget is only about keeping the lights on

Ensuring IT becomes an asset

Strategic leadership is about making sure the technology in your organisation is treated as a vital asset. Technology is something that can help you achieve and exceed your business goals, offering a good ROI.

You need to have someone at director level who understands both business and technology in order to be able to provide the IT the firm really needs. A partner or director whose main role is accountancy-based might not have enough IT knowledge to achieve this.

Strategy is not just about replacing old hardware and software – it is about tying the IT to your firm’s business challenges to make sure you invest in the technology that will be the most beneficial.

Quick fixes do not solve the problem

When we meet with owners and partners of accountancy firms to discuss their IT strategy, we spend time getting to know what the business is trying to do. A useful analogy is replacing the tyres on your car. We need to know how you are going to use them – standard tyres are not the correct ones to use if you are planning to do off-road driving or racing. Similarly, if we were to simply replace a bald tyre without working out why it is bald, all we are providing is a quick fix. If there is an alignment problem, a new tyre will only serve its purpose for a certain amount of time before it too will need replacing. By investigating what caused the problem in the first place, you will save money in the long run by not having to keep replacing tyres.

In part two of our series, we will take a closer look at the technology itself, and why it is especially vital for firms in the accountancy industry to invest in it. In the meantime, if you would like to discuss how we can help you with your IT strategic investment, contact us to make an appointment.

 

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