As the Intalio team prepares for its UK launch, we researched the activities of the accountancy profession as advisors to small and medium-sized clients and how they are addressing the pandemic.

We are focusing on Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), with the disruptive Odoo Enterprise solution. Our advisors, including Odoo themselves, recommended opening the solution offering with Odoo because we are already Gold Partners; it has a short sales cycle, the benefits are evident, and the price tag is quite reasonable.  We were advised to look at what UK accountants are doing.

The research began with the discovery that the majority of them were sitting comfortably with their Sage history book, or with Xero and QuickBooks, flashing their lights on your client’s bookkeeping activities. A great model – if they could take a step forward and expand to cover the entire organisation – not just finance. So, the next step was to assess the current climate and what accountants are doing.

The Covid-19 pandemic has been a sad time for us all, and from a business perspective, it has been a tremendous challenge, but it has also provided an opportunity to evolve, automate, right-size, and adapt to how the new future is likely to look. Many UK firms have found dealing with the Brexit administration to be financially and logistically challenging.

We went on to learn how the leaders in the profession are addressing change from reading in Accountancy Age that,

“Accountants must therefore take the lead in guiding their organisations through the logistical and multiple financial pitfalls that are likely to result from the coronavirus pandemic.”- ACCA executive, Maggie Mcghee.

This sounds like putting social responsibility ahead of profits, to help make more profits, which seems to be the way of the modern economy (post-Trump). We will leave the effects of Covid-19 in the financial reporting and statement disclosures to the Professionals, but one thing that stood out in our investigations was captured neatly in AccountancyAge:

“Ahead of any changes, accountants should consider switching to Cloud-based software that can sync with their desktop, and meet with clients over the phone or Internet, instead of in-person.” – AccountancyAge.

We are acutely aware that the web has been a prolific and important communications medium with Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and cloud-based accounting and business solutions enabling collaboration when we are not able to travel to each other’s offices. Therefore, having the Accountant’s rubber stamp is reassuring.

Book-keeping software producers have done an excellent job of using Accountancy firms as a channel to market and meet the needs of small businesses. At the other end of the corporate spectrum, SAP and Oracle are very well-known, but how are the profession’s trusted advisors addressing the demands of the gap between small company book-keeping and BIG Corp ERP?

Perhaps we are overlooking something, and the marketeers behind MS Dynamics, NetSuite, and other occupants of that mid-tier solution space have done a remarkable job. We receive calls from business transformation and systems consultancy companies seeking solutions to fulfil their clients’ automation needs, but none from their accountants.

Or maybe it is just a mindset that those professionals who know what is going on believe they are the least likely to be able to do anything about it.

We’ve been inundated with lead generation companies advertising their “unique” take on finding opportunities as we’ve grown our businesses in the UK, and from the ground up in the Middle East, Africa, and France. However, wouldn’t it be nice to work with individuals who truly understand what their clients need?

The key to success in business is establishing trust in delivering results to clients.