Tax and accounting firms of all sizes need dependable systems and procedures to deliver the best value to their clients. Finding the right accounting software for your firm will keep business records organized, improve operational efficiency, identify areas for improvement, and help you manage growth over time. As technology changes the accounting world, it’s more important than ever to modernize operations and prioritize a technology roadmap for your firm’s future.
4 key steps to evaluate and improve your firm’s tax and accounting software
Here are four steps you can take today to start improving your accounting system and building a more efficient and streamlined business.
1. Start with a plan and consider your firm’s long-term goals
Every important business decision should begin with a plan. It’s important to take a step back and identify business goals to make sure you get the best tax and accounting software for today and the future. First, conduct a quick strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT) analysis of:
- Strengths: What does your accounting business do well? What required expertise and tools do you already have?
- Weaknesses: What operational challenges do you have? What do you want to do but currently cannot offer your clients?
- Opportunities: What do you expect your business to look like in 5 to 10 years? What opportunities do you see on the horizon that you want to take advantage of for growth?
- Threats: What competitive or regulatory challenges are out there?
Next, write specific financial and growth goals for your accounting firm. With these goals, along with a clear assessment of where you are today and where you want to go, you can make better decisions about what accounting software is right for your firm.
2. How to find the right accounting software for your firm
There are countless software tools available for accounting firms, but the right one for you depends on your:
- Accounting firm size — large accounting firms and small accounting firms have very different needs
- Client mix (large or small businesses, individuals)
- Comfort level with technology
- Business growth goals
Before you settle on a particular software, request demos and test several options. Make sure you feel comfortable using it, and ensure that it has all the features and functionality you need. If you’re growing a business, find accounting software that can scale up with your firm, so you don’t need a new system in a few years.
3. Automate accounting processes with robotics process automation (RPA)
Technology tools that automate key accounting processes will save you time, minimize the chance of errors, and improve efficiency. They also reduce costs by eliminating time-consuming manual tasks. Robotics processing automation (RPA) is one of the most promising technologies available to accounting firms. It performs repetitive, rule-based processes that don’t require human intervention. Eliminating these tasks gives you more time to spend on high-value work, such as collaborating with clients or growing your firm.
4. Digitize wherever possible
There are several digital tools to help with all aspects of your firm’s business:
- Firm management and workflow
- Marketing for accounting firms
- Staff training
Unfortunately, many tax and accounting firms still do a lot of these things without technology to help. Moving as much of your business as possible to automated systems sets you up for expansion and growth.
Grow your tax and accounting firm with the right technology solutions for you
Thomson Reuters is a trusted source for millions of tax and accounting firms of all sizes. Follow our tax blog for more insights, and keep reading to learn how accounting firms can plan a smoother technology implementation.