Crowe Horwath business advisory manager Kerby Roberts says that while capital cities and metro areas are constantly pushing for an uptake in technology and a shift to the cloud, the reality is that many businesses lie outside these areas and may not have the capability to do so.
“Particularly for regional and the remote clients, whether they actually have the ability to connect to the internet with a stable connection and actually have a data plan to be able to access it,” Ms Robert said.
“They don't have the internet capabilities that someone in Townsville, Brisbane, Sydney, or any of those metro places have.
“The costs are a lot higher with the plans that they have to get and the reliability of that connection isn't always fantastic so it limits their ability about what they can actually use.”
Instead, Ms Roberts believes bookkeepers can tap into this market by positioning themselves as the bridge between the business and technology.
“If the client isn't confident in themselves in using that, their bookkeeper, accountant, whoever they use as their adviser, can come in and do as much of it as they want, or do as little of it as they want,” said Ms Roberts.
“We can go from, 'we can look after everything for you within your file' or we can go, 'we know that you're comfortable in doing your invoices, doing your bank reconciliation, we'll come in at the quarter end, check your BAS, or come in at the month end and have a discussion with you'.
“So it's all around being able to provide more services to the client rather than just crunching the numbers and data entry.”
Further, Ms Roberts believes bookkeepers can capitalise on their front-facing time with clients to elevate their role as an adviser to one normally associated with an accountant.
“Bookkeepers are generally more front of face with the client so they are there generally on a weekly basis, processing their payroll and things like that,” said Ms Roberts.
“Everybody has to do the compliance but with the real-time stuff we can say here we are right now… and be able to work around what's best for the client in a really timely manner.”
Jotham Lian is the editor of Accountants Daily, the leading source of breaking news, analysis and insight for Australian accounting professionals.
Before joining the team in 2017, Jotham wrote for a range of national mastheads including the Sydney Morning Herald, and Channel NewsAsia.