Workflow for the Digital Age – the Data Pipeline
Why workflow in accounting firms needs to evolve
A good workflow is what makes your practice efficient, productive and profitable.
But historically, workflow has been reactive and inflexible – the client states what they need, the accountant plans for the relevant actions and deliverables and work is carried out within the planned timescales – for example, filing a tax return and completing year-end accounts. It’s basic, it adds limited value for the client and offers little room for creativity, innovation or insight from you as an experienced accounting professional.
To underline how basic workflow can dominate, a recent poll of UK accountants showed that one in three respondents (33%) spent most of their business time completing tax returns, and just 2% spent most time with small business clients providing advice on their business finances.
The way workflow is thought of and implemented hasn’t changed much in decades. Compliance work still rules and there’s little emphasis on making working practices offer value for the clients (or the practice) – but technology is bringing about the means, and the impetus, for an evolution.
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