How Open Banking is empowering small accounting firms with time-saving solutions
According to the Office of National Statistics, there are approximately 44,000 accountancy firms in the UK, 80 percent of which operate with less than four employees while a mere 45 firms employ more than 250 people. This demonstrates the extent to which accountants either work as part of small teams or independently.
Small accountancy firms must share and balance workloads between their employees to ensure tasks are completed efficiently. However, some tasks naturally take up more time than others. More often than not, these will be admin-based tasks which involve lots of data and piles of paperwork. Generally speaking, the more data there is, the longer a task will take – particularly when working with physical copies of financial information. For example, a full year’s bank reconciliation, including retrieving and compiling bank statement data from clients, can take up to two days.
If this time could be cut down, accountants would have more time to build stronger relationships with clients and provide financial support and business advice sooner.
The frustrations of data collection
Time is precious for accountants, arguably even more so for those working in small firms. It is therefore understandable that time-consuming tasks, particularly the issues associated with financial data sharing, can cause frustrations and spoil productivity. On the surface, collecting bank statements from clients may seem mundane and simple, but a lot can go wrong to cause delays.
On average, accountants can spend an entire day collecting data from clients: they need to request the data and then wait for the client to compile and share their bank statements. Once received, accountants need to check, order and digitise printed bank statements, and sometimes manually input each bank entry into external software. This in itself is longwinded, but it can be delayed by days if the initial email requesting data is missed by busy clients.
To make matters worse, about 70 percent of the time bank statements will be unclear, incomplete, insecure, or inaccurate. Photocopies of statements can be blurry, csv files can be manipulated and are generally not secure.
For accountants short of time, issues with data collection can quickly spoil workplace productivity. Conventional methods of financial data collection simply are not good enough in the digital age.
Armalytix is working towards a world of form-free financial data sharing. We can save accountants up to 40 hours of work per employee, every month by eliminating the need for paper bank statements and insecure csv files. Our sophisticated, user-friendly software allows accountants to simply share a link with clients who can then approve sharing specific bank statement information in a matter of clicks. The data can span across various accounts, collecting and securely sharing years’ worth of data.
Ross Macleod, Founder of My Cloud 9 Accounting – a two partner accounting firm which regularly uses our platform – agrees: “If you want to make money, you need to be able to pick up a piece of work and finish it. With Armalytix, you can get started on the data instantly rather than having to email a client and wait for them to send it. The statements are collected and ready immediately, accessible when we need it. Nobody wants to be dipping in and out of various time-consuming tasks because this spoils workplace productivity. Armalytix ensures this doesn’t happen.”
A fast and formless future
With the digital solutions available today, accountants should be empowered to embrace new and improved methods of completing tasks which could save them days of work – especially those which are integral to the role. Small accounting firms which may have limited time and resources should look to innovation in fintech for time-saving solutions which can help fewer people complete more tasks.
“Armalytix has now become crucial to the business. It’s another tool in our armoury that we use every day – we are now rolling it out to all of our clients, not just those who have difficulty sharing their financial information”, concludes Ross.