The Top 50 + 50 UK Accountancy Firms survey by Accountancy Age revealed that the UK accountancy sector is increasing their investment into technology. The survey shows that the top 100 ranking accountancy firms spent over £73m on improving technological services. Cloud Central are proud to support both Dains and Ellacotts who have invested in technologies to improve services.
The latest report from Accountancy Age reveals figures of an excess of £73 million is spent annually by firms, with a direct correlation between investment in new technologies & revenue growth. It is also reported that those investments in technology in 2020 benefited from an overall fee income increase of 10.26% – which is 2.9% more than those that didn’t.
Although the return on investment in the tech sector is high, firms that capitalise on cloud-based software, data science, and artificial intelligence (AI) are more likely to put increased importance on improving innovation over their counterparts.
Investments in technology increased year-on-year from 1.37% to 1.8% of total fee income.
Across the 50+50, firms that ranked invested 0.7% of their UK fee income in new technologies.
Firms that invested over £1m, four were ranked outside of the top 10
27 respondents invested over £100,000 in technology in 2020
Almost 50% of firms offer guidance on accounting software investments.
Pandemic shines a light on the need for technology.
The pandemic has reshaped how every industry operates with the accountancy sector being no different. Kevin Ellis, the chairman of PWC, the number one ranking 50 + 50 firm, expects to see a blend of both home working and in the office once the pandemic is over. Kevin Ellis said, “Automation will continue, but the pandemic has highlighted the inherently human skills that AI cannot mimic, such as resilience, adaptability, empathy, creativity and critical thinking,”.
While offices across the UK have once again shut, investment in technology during the first wave has put businesses in a good position for the incoming second lockdown.
In fact, because of the investment in technology, the transition to working from home will be far more seamless due to the infrastructure already being in place.
Even though the increased investment in technology is apparent from Top 50 + 50 firms, the report analysed trends from the past financial year which means the impact of the virus on tech investment is yet to be observed.
At the start of the year, Silverfin reported that 62% of professionals surveyed store all client data digitally. It is also expected that firms have spent more on performance facilitating technologies, as accountants try to offer clients better services.
Interestingly, around 50% of the Top 50 + 50 respondents offer advice on accounting software investments, a figure that has remained stagnant in 2020.
An uptake in firms providing advice in this vital area is overdue as more companies switch to cloud-based solutions to tackle the challenges affiliated with the pandemic.
Andy McDougall, MD Cloud Central, said this about the inclusion of Dains and Ellacotts in the report. “Great to see both Dains and Ellacotts delivering substantial growth over the last 12 months. Cloud Central are delighted to have helped both companies deliver software and technology to improve productivity and collaboration. Their continual investment in technology to help the workforce is clearly having the desired impact on both growth and profitability. Facilitating home and hybrid working during the Covid 19 pandemic will enable flexibility for future scenarios and also empower people to be more productive. Having the right infrastructure already in place, Microsoft Teams and teams calling has been a real strength for organisations during these challenging times”.
In Partnership With Silverfin: Author Beth Mason