Businesses increasingly value tech-savvy accountants as a new survey finds 88% of businesses agree having an accountant who understands technology is important.
Increasing importance of tech skills is emphasised by two-thirds of respondents saying they would pay more for tech-focused accountants, compared to those without these skills.
Research conducted on behalf of digital marketing agency for accountancy industry PracticeWeb surveyed 400 people who described themselves as a small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) business owner or partner with an accountant. Full results can be found in PracticeWeb’s insight report in association with AccountancyManager.
Of those surveyed, 88% agreed that having an accountant who understands technology is important. This statement was ‘strongly’ agreed with by 33%. They would also pay more – 66% said they would pay more for a ‘tech-savvy’ accountant, with 19% ‘strongly’ agreeing with this.
Business clients also expect to find their accountants online, with 58% saying it was very or extremely important to find evidence of expertise, such as articles or guides, on an accountant’s website.
In terms of communication, 59% wanted to receive communication from their accountant via email, with 48% expecting phone calls and 39%, in-person meetings.
The survey also found that compliance appears to be getting more difficult. PracticeWeb last conducted this survey in 2021 and found about 5% more of businesses said they found dealing with HMRC extremely or very challenging, with 33% of businesses responding this in 2022.
Most respondents (56%) found their accountants through recommendations, but a significant portion (33%) found them online. Once a potential accountant is identified, 62% of businesses said they would contact them to find out more and 13% will check their reviews online. However, 16% will visit their website first and 5% will check their social media channels.
Only 10% said their accountants were not using online accounting, showing high demand and reliance on cloud-technology in the sector.
PracticeWeb managing director Dan McNamara, said: “This latest research shows how important being on top of your game technology-wise is for the modern-day accountant. Businesses don’t just value their accountant being tech-savvy – they now expect it.”