For accountants, this may mean more ways to respond to the unmet needs of their client base. Technology is allowing them to provide new services for Self-Managed Super Funds (SMSFs) and give their clients access to products that enrich the SMSF experience.
Automation and data mining help staff complete work quicker, which may in turn give them more time to focus on higher value tasks. But it is not only the tangible cost savings and workflow improvements that are boosting the profitability of practices: the intangible cultural benefits are also significant.
Technology is showing that it can also redefine the value that accountants provide clients, generating not only a much greater level of engagement with clients, but increased professional satisfaction among accountants freed from paperwork to focus on adding value to their clients, in a far more strategic capacity.
This is particularly relevant if the practice has taken up a full or limited Australian Financial Services Licence (AFSL) and is exploring what it can do on the advice side with SMSFs.
Investment platforms and accounting software
Platforms have become more of a value add to accountants and their clients, leveraging cloud technology to provide access and visibility. The indispensable requirement for many clients is for a cloud based platform that works on a whole-of-fund view of their assets – even those held outside the platform. One which provides access to the client’s transactional, investment and tax data.
The platform may feature data feeds that support both the accounting and financial planning software that the practice uses. The shared view of up-to-date information should be accessible to the accountant, the client and the adviser, at any time, such that any of the parties can collaborate on it, seamlessly. And the data should be accessible to clients on any device, so that they can trade and manage investments on the device of their choosing – PC, tablet or smartphone – at a time that suits them.
That is where modern practice technology is integrating, in a highly automated, customer-focused offering that is built around real-time access and shared data, designed to enable accountants to take a much more collaborative approach with clients and their advisers, with the end result being both a much more tailored experience for the client, that enables them to make informed decisions more quickly.
Technology is not only enriching the client experience, but also allowing firms to differentiate themselves and grow their business while fulfilling more of their clients’ needs.
Could a platform help manage your clients’ investment needs? Visit btpanorama.com.au/accountants to find out more about BT Panorama.