Is your practice powered by future-fit software?

Future Fit practice gym - start your workout

 

From FRS 102 and Clarity ISAs to iXBRL and online filing, change has become a way of life for tax and accounting professionals. On top of legal and regulatory changes there are the challenges of rising client expectations and mounting fee pressure.

The right software can undoubtedly help you meet these challenges and exploit new opportunities, but today’s problems can’t be solved by yesterday’s IT solutions and many practices have not changed their basic software for many years.  “A lot of firms have been using the same software suite for a decade or more,” says Wendy Rowe, Head of Product Management for CCH Software at Wolters Kluwer.  “Although the compliance side of things has been kept up to date, the underlying architecture, the user experience and the way in which the software allows the practice to use data and interact with its clients have often remained more or less static.  The business context in which these practices now operate has changed dramatically in the last 10 or 15 years so it’s no wonder they’re losing their competitive edge.  Many firms are coming to realise that a review of their technology choices is now long overdue.”

To help them start this process, Wolters Kluwer has recently launched an interactive online tool.  Based on the metaphor of a “fitness test” for practice software, it uses responses from 11 simple, multiple-choice questions to give an overall benchmark score and personal recommendations. 

“Although we’ve kept it light-hearted, our Future-Fit Practice Gym has a serious purpose,” says Rowe.  “We think accountancy firms should raise their expectations and demand more of their software supplier.  Our Future-Fit test highlights areas where software is often deficient – these are real-life issues that prospective customers have brought to our attention.”

Of course no one can predict what the future will hold for the accountancy profession but one thing is certain:  those who plan ahead will be in a better position than those who cling to the past.  And the best time to start that process is right now.

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