Nowadays, the field of accounting is subject to a digital transition and companies' expectations are changing. If we consider mainly VSEs and SMEs, they expect their accountants to be able to anticipate critical situations and pilot their projects.
The accountant now helps to guide the management of its clients’ projects
To manage your business, forecasting future events is essential. The business manager needs to be aware of his company’s turnover, expenses, cash flows, etc. at any time. This allows him to have a vision of the profitability of his activity and the consequences of his managerial decisions.
Accounting firms’ clients, therefore, expect chartered accountants to provide them with the necessary tools to allow them to monitor this data. According to a survey by RCA consulting in which 900 VSEs and SMEs were questioned, 60% of company managers expressed the need for software that provides them with dashboards that are updated in real-time. Margins and invoice payment tracking are also important indicators. Similarly, a tool that automates the follow-up of debtor customers is significantly time-saving and allows them to focus on developing their business.
Companies expect their accountant to help them manage their business. Reports on their activity with key figures and analysis are particularly appreciated. Management consulting must now become an integral part of the accountant's range of missions. Customer satisfaction is increasingly linked to these expectations.
Automation, digital transition and accountant's fees
The digital transition of accounting firms involves the automation of certain processes.
The good news is that more than 60% of VSEs and SMEs say they are ready to take on the task of digitising the purchase invoices, expense reports and other supporting documents that make up their accounting records. However, they expect a counterpart which can either be a moderation of the accountant's fees, or an increase in management information, particularly in terms of frequency.. One can also imagine commercial gestures in the form of free services.
Accountants’ digital transition must therefore also involve catching up on the digital backlog of VSEs and SMEs. Not all of them are yet equipped with an IT commercial management tool and some still use Excel for invoicing.
However, according to a 2017 study by the Market of the Accounting Profession, the good news is that 9 out of 10 company managers consider their accountant as a trusted partner. Thus, they listen to their accountant's advice, whether it is for setting up dashboards and KPIs, choosing the right CRM, accounting software, cash management software, etc.
Choice of software, the digital expert accountant
Choosing software that is adapted to the company's activity, compatible with business processes, that centralises all the data and that has all the necessary functionalities for the company's needs is not necessarily an easy thing to do. The certified public accountant appears as the most appropriate partner to provide relevant advice.
For example, regarding cash register software, companies expect their accountant to tell them which one will enable them to monitor stock, define alert thresholds and make replenishment requests to different suppliers.
The accountant, therefore, appears as the ideal partner for the digital transition of small and medium-sized companies. Support mission, online management services, each firm must take up the subject to offer additional solutions and advice to its clients.