Should accountants or bookkeepers advise clients on which (if any) accounting software to use?

Choosing the right accounting software – is it the choice of the accountant or the business owner? On a weekly basis we speak with hundreds of UK-based accountants and bookkeepers. During our conversations we uncover many insights as to the wins and woes practice-owners face. One of which is “Who’s responsibility is it to choose…

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Choosing the right accounting software – is it the choice of the accountant or the business owner?

On a weekly basis we speak with hundreds of UK-based accountants and bookkeepers. During our conversations we uncover many insights as to the wins and woes practice-owners face. One of which is “Who’s responsibility is it to choose the accounting software a business uses?”.

Well, the opinion varies. According to our research, the majority of financial service providers are not advising their client about accounting software at all. Meaning they’re left to fend for themselves and often select to use simple spreadsheets for their business accounting, and docs to create sales invoices.

Now don’t get me wrong, Excel and Word are fantastic pieces of software! However, they’re not designed specifically for business accounting. They don’t have restrictions in place to guide the user and ensure they keep their records correctly. Plus, they don’t meet the needs for HMRC’s MTD initiative. Which means that at year-end when you’re getting all your clients ready for the turn of the fiscal year, these clients present problems that take so long to fix you’ll wish you did it all yourself!

 

So, why aren’t accountants or bookkeepers advising their clients on the right kind of software to use?

Some feel it simply isn’t within their role to be advising on software. Others feel threatened that the business owner will feel that they can use the software themselves entirely, thus making the need for outsourced services obsolete. Whereas a minority think it removes the ‘Stickiness’ of a client: Allowing them to switch advisor whenever they feel like it.

But the truth of the matter is this; these reasons simply aren’t good enough. They’re restricting the business owners’ opportunity to grow and streamline their own administration. And why should that matter to you? Well…

 

Why you, as the accountant or bookkeeper SHOULD be advising your client on which software to use.

Those accountants and bookkeepers that are advising their clients on the software to use are actually growing their business at the fastest rates, with the higher gross profit margins. We know, we’ve seen it with our own partners.

That’s because their clients have a better financial system for their business, thanks to their advisor. They’re now growing at a faster rate than they ever imagined, plus they can make financial decisions based on better numbers, almost available in real time if they choose.

Their clients are willing to pay higher fees, thanks to the expertise and help given to grow their business and not just focus on the admin.

I know right – who would have guessed: Business owners willing to pay more to work with advisors who genuinely care about their business?!

But it makes sense. Their own administration is much easier due to having all their clients working seamlessly digitally on the system of their choice. No more year-end paper bags, horror-show spreadsheets or endless record chasing. Some platforms even have an admin panel allowing the accountant or bookkeeper to see the total number of receipts and bank transactions that need bookkeeping across their entire client base. (Nomi does!)

 

So, if you’re growing your practice. Why not pick up the phone to your clients and ask the dreaded question: “What software are you using to manage your bookkeeping and raise invoices?”. If it’s Excel and Word, make the decision to introduce them to a new software today! (Nomi is only £5+VAT per month, it’s cheaper than a Netflix subscription!)

Facilitate the growth of their business = Grow your practice faster.

Arrange a free trial of Nomi here.

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