ISSUE | 07 | JULY 2022
FinTech and Accountancy
-a perspective by Amit Agarwal
The term ﬁntech is not something new. It has been there for years now. But in the face of rapidly advancing technology and many new players, it is worth taking a fresh look at.
I see a broad range of the spectrum. On the one hand, some accountants fear becoming redundant; on the other, a new breed of tech-savvy, data-enabled, commercially astute accountants is emerging. Between these two extremes are accountants who are unsure where to start.
Last month I was at Digital Accountancy Show (DAS) and met a lot of accountants who understood that cloud accounting is the future. Some stats to put my statement in perspective: one-third of UK ﬁrms now service over 80% of their clients with cloud accounting software.
But cloud accounting is the tip of the iceberg. The potential for integration with a growing list of FinTech solutions gives your practice more clout.
Gone are the days when small business clients looked at accountants only for compliance work. Recent research commissioned by Sage shows that your business clients want a proactive, tech-savvy business adviser. One that can give them the correct numbers, has a clear eye on their ﬁnances and can help them avoid any pitfalls and challenges as they come up.
Solution: Invest in business intelligence and reporting solutions.
Accounting is reinventing itself and is now embracing eﬃciency, technology and automation. What more proof than having 15 service providers of analytics, reporting, and outsourcing under one roof at DAS.
Fintech is slowly taking over the world, and outsourcing is an essential component of it.
Fintech and outsourcing together can work weave the magic for you. The strong combination can help you move into more in-depth business advice and strategic guidance – the kind of service that can make a diﬀerence to the long-term success of your client's businesses.
So say Hola to tech and evolve your services!
In this video, Alex Wedell of Ozlop Bookkeeping shares his experience of working with Outbooks.
What are you most proud of during your journey with Outbooks?
It is my intent always to deliver on time. If there is a delay for any reason, I don't hesitate to communicate the same. Once a client emailed saying, "We wouldn't be where we're at without you."
What would you say to someone considering a career with Outbooks?
Outbooks is a good place to work with many opportunities and supportive management. Excellent work culture, professional environment, supportive and friendly staﬀ.
What would you like to say to your leadership team?
Thanks for seeing the good in me and supporting me.
How has your career grown since you joined Outbooks?
I joined Outbooks as an Assistant to Accounts Production Manager. After seeing my work and how I handled work pressure, I was promoted to the position of Accounts Manager. This came with a good salary hike, a few clients to address individually, and a team to manage. In addition, I have taken up some more clients and am getting great feedback on the quality of my work. All this happened within six months of joining.
Where do you see yourself in the next four years?
I would like to see myself in the Outbooks UK oﬃce in the next four years with additional responsibilities in a good position.
Why your practice should oﬀer payroll services?
There are 5.94 million small businesses (with 0 to 49 employees) in the UK. Most of them work with an accountant or bookkeeper. Payroll is one service small business
Why oﬀer payroll?
Irrespective of the size of your ﬁrm, payroll should be your top priority. Payroll is a low-hanging fruit that has the potential to maximise revenue streams.
- Increase client retention- payroll oﬀers a recurring revenue stream and makes you an invaluable part of their business.
- Grow your bottom line- Increase your revenue without additional overhead. Payroll doesn't require you to hire additional staﬀ.
- Add more value to your clients' business- Delays and errors in payroll can have far-reaching eﬀects-dissatisﬁed employees. Business owners need experts to help them process accurate and timely payroll. This presents an opportunity for you to help them.
Start by identifying businesses that are:
- Doing payroll manually
- Paying employees in cash
- Manually entering payroll data
- Misclassifying employees as contractors
- Want direct deposit or a paperless solution
- Want more personal service
- Needs tax advice on bonuses or beneﬁts
- Has received a tax penalty in the past ﬁve years
Why payroll processing gets outsourced
From a bird's eye view, payroll might seem like a straightforward process. It isn't tough to calculate your client employees' hours and prepare their pay. Trust us – in reality, there is a lot more to payroll.
As an owner of an accounting ﬁrm, if you place a high value on your time and peace of mind often, you can consider outsourcing payroll.
By partnering with Outbooks, most of your payroll responsibilities – wage calculations, tax withholdings and deposits, reporting, etc. will be taken care of.
Outbooks has the knowledge and technology necessary to produce accurate, timely results.
Training & Growth
We have been hiring freshers, right from commerce graduates to CA intermediates. Our ﬁrst batch of freshers is undergoing rigorous internal training.
We have also been hiring candidates pursuing ACCA to give them a platform to upskill their learning and gain practical knowledge.
We also try to get everyone certiﬁed on our widely used cloud-based software as we believe software knowledge is equally important as technical knowledge.
Outbooks participated in two trade shows in the last quarter, Accountex and Digital Accountancy Show (DAS).
Meeting old and new friends after a few years was an absolute pleasure. The events were more extensive than their previous versions, which meant more attendees and many more suppliers.
Accountex had a medley of people- from students to accountants, bookkeepers and partners in the practice. There were people from the industry and the practice. There were start-up practices and also some established ones. It was exciting catching up with them and learning from their experience.
At DAS, we met tech-savvy digitally-focused people who understood the beneﬁts of cloud accounting and outsourcing. Conversations here were vastly diﬀerent relative to discussions at Accountex.
It was a relief to know that many ﬁrms are adopting cloud technology like never before. Gone are the days when we had to explain to people about Dext Prepare, Fluidly and other cloud technologies at such trade shows.
One thing that intrigued us was Xero's subtle presence at both events. Maybe some cost-cutting measures are in place? Or is this because their share price has been down 60% in the past year? Or is it because they think they have captured all the market that they can and no need to do anything extravagant
On the other hand, SAGE seemed to be making a come-back with a considerable presence at both events.
Events are a great place to keep a tab on what is new and happening in your industry. We were glad we could make it to the two most happening events in the accounting world.
We need to give a special mention to the stunning Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. We were mind blown by this world-class sports and entertainment destination.