The Rise of Advisory in the UK: Three Key Takeaways from 2018

Lindsey Peckham —  January 9, 2019 — Leave a comment

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While we’ve heard about automation and AI for some time, 2018 was the year where technology was more fully embraced by accounting practices and their customers in the UK. According to Accounting Today’s “Year Ahead” Survey, adoption of cloud accounting is now between 45% and 58% depending on the size of firm, and the global accounting software market is estimated to be worth $11.6 billion by 2026.

In 2018, many of our UK ExpensifyApproved! partners noticed the trend of organisations wanting more insight around accounting software to augment their business, rather than simply hiring a bookkeeper. To that end, many of our partners gave their clients what they really wanted — knowledge and experience. This came in the form of software implementation and training sessions, advisory around apps like Expensify, and assistance in selecting the best ecosystem for their clients’ business.

While it’s clear that firms are moving to the cloud faster than ever, it’s easy to be left behind if your firm doesn’t offer advisory services. In order to stay ahead of the curve, we’ve outlined three key takeaways from 2018 to help you best support your clients as we move into the new year.

1. Use Technology for Business Health Checks

Some of the biggest risks for new businesses include mismanaging cash flow and underestimating invoice deadlines. Accountants are key players in helping clients understand cash flow budgeting and keeping their business health profiles in check. Using accounting tools like Intuit’s Turbo or popular forecasting and reporting add-ons like Futrli are key to prevent overspending, and highlight areas where reductions are readily available. Training and coaching your clients on how to effectively use this technology is a huge value-add opportunity for.

2. Take Advantage of Open Banking

Open Banking finally launched in the UK in 2018, a directive targeted at leading banks to promote the secure sharing of their data with authorised organisations. As a result, users can securely and efficiently transfer finance information directly into accounting systems and apps, including digital challenger banks like Monzo, Starling, and Revolut.

To help your clients take advantage of Open Banking, we recommend familiarising yourself with apps like Expensify, iWoca, Fluidly, and GoCardless, which use these authorised banking connections to streamline accounting processes. With more readily accessible financial data, it’s easier for businesses to secure loans and funding and manage cash-flow, helping smaller organisations prosper.

3. Review Outdated Audit Processes

It’s important to assist clients in reviewing their internal processes regularly and keep them on top of new auditing technology. Apps like Expensify that include audit technology ensure compliance by verifying reported information, highlighting duplicate transactions, and spotting any potential fraud on reported data. Regular audits will render significant cost savings and spot any infractions. Encourage your clients to utilise cloud-based apps to bring transparency and security into their business in 2019.

Ready to help your clients have an efficient 2019? Join the ExpensifyApproved! University today to earn your Expensify certification and receive your own free account to explore, demo, and onboard clients.

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