At the forefront of today’s business world, accounting firms strive to stay ahead of the curve and leverage technology to create a seamless experience for their clients. Achieving digital maturity is essential to success, as it enables firms to be nimble in their approach, capitalize on new opportunities and streamline operations. By making smart investments in technology, firms can not only improve efficiency but also increase profitability. The end result is a win-win situation for both the firm and its clients, as they can enjoy the benefits of a more streamlined and efficient service.
Without understanding the current state and creating a plan, firms risk making expensive, low-value decisions or investing in initiatives that existing technology cannot support.
How can firms improve their technology landscape and ensure digital maturity?
While the focus is on technology, an organization’s level of digital maturity is also driven by adaptability and speed, primarily through human capital and automated processes. It’s a genuine team effort.
How to Improve Your Accounting Firm’s Technology Landscape
Tools commonly used to increase business value, such as automation and cloud technology, require an IT infrastructure to support these systems.
When assessing digital maturity, consider all factors, including business needs, external and internal stakeholders, and customers, before developing a digital technology strategy to drive business growth while optimizing the firm’s investment. Additionally, it is essential to note that the more a company becomes involved with digital technology, the greater the cybersecurity risk to the business.
Cybersecurity is a crucial component in achieving optimal digital maturity, so it is critical to understand the reality of cyber risks and the day-to-day actions employees can take to protect their organizations.
With such an essential “why,” let’s look at how to effectively improve an accounting firm’s technology landscape. These five steps will help ensure an optimal IT infrastructure:
Outline Your Processes
In order for firms to improve their technology landscape, experts recommend choosing a framework that supports the firm’s goals and has a pragmatic approach that can compare a firm’s digital maturity.
From there, focus on gaps to optimize and improve your infrastructure. Outline the process and define goals, opportunities, and strategies to minimize gaps. Delineate the critical systems required for digital transformation.
It looks different depending on the purpose. Assess where your company is currently and determine your targets or landing points. Use this as another boundary condition.
Where is the company currently on the continuum, and where do they want to go? What results do they want to achieve? To achieve it, the journey to digital maturity begins with an IT roadmap.
The roadmap reveals the current state of digital maturity and which gaps need to be addressed most urgently.
Research and Discover New Opportunities
The accounting field has been booming ever since the introduction of modern technologies such as adaptive intelligence, automation, and machine learning.
These technologies are quickly becoming a vital ally of the finance team. Accounting tasks and processes that these innovations can handle or streamline include:
- Accounts payable
- Supplier onboarding
- Expense management
- Customer inquiries
Many firms are already using these so-called “new” technologies only because they have been around for some time. Only now have accounting professionals truly appreciated their existence.
Research what advancement to current technologies will emerge and discover what new technologies are on the horizon. Speak to industry tech experts who can share with you resources regarding these new opportunities.
Set Achievable Goals
To improve an accounting firm’s technology landscape, they must first know what processes and systems need improving and set goals accordingly. Determine how quickly the digital transformation should occur and in what areas first.
It doesn’t happen overnight when organizations take steps to improve their technology stack. It’s a long but rewarding process that requires setting goals to determine that the right technology is chosen to resolve common issues.
What needs updating the most? What legacy systems no longer work, and what can be done to fix them? Answering these questions will help set goals for improving the firm’s tech landscape.
Challenges will arise, and it’s essential to eliminate roadblocks whenever they pop up. These roadblocks impede progress and make it more difficult for accounting firms to integrate new technologies into their existing infrastructure. To eliminate these roadblocks, firms must first:
- Identify the root cause: Determine what is causing the roadblock. Is there a vulnerability in the system that needs addressing?
- Capture ideas for possible solutions: Discuss with other team members to determine what potential solutions will resolve the roadblocks with integration.
- Write them down: Document the ideas from the team and digest the solution to make an actionable plan to move forward.
- Share it with others: Reach out to experts who can offer direction in avoiding and eliminating current and future roadblocks.
Involve Stakeholders Throughout the Entire Process
Discuss current processes for integrating new technologies for efficient workflows with stakeholders. Ensure they are involved throughout the entire process and remain informed as decisions are made regarding the firm’s IT infrastructure.
Analyze current digital tactics and people’s wish lists for automation, streamlining, output, customer interactions, and team efficiency. Take a deep dive into the firm’s current tactics and see if they give it a competitive advantage.
Remember, digital maturity is a spectrum. It isn’t black and white. Instead, there are several shades of gray with no correct answer on how digitally mature firms should be.
Improve Your Accounting Firm’s Technology Landscape with the Help of Tech Guru
The ability to quickly adjust and react to market changes indicates an organization’s digital maturity, the state of its technology landscape, and whether or not it manages those changes.
Similarly, an accounting firm’s technology landscape directly impacts operational efficiency, and it redefines how they work. It also enables them to accelerate the launch of a new business or offer additional services.
At Tech Guru, we can help you improve your firm’s tech landscape by assessing your firm’s needs and current infrastructure capabilities. We offer IT support, strategy, and security to help your firm achieve its technology goals. Want a faster way to assess your technology infrastructure? Download the Identifying, Prioritizing & Deciding on Technology Worksheet.