A member of our team recently reflected on their 10-year accounting anniversary and shared some insights on how the industry has changed since then.
The dissonance between learning and doing
In 2012 they were completing a series of processes in MYOB as part of an accounting systems paper. Xero or any other cloud accounting software wasn’t mentioned in any of those classes, despite Xero being established in 2006.
Upon graduating and arriving at their new workplace, they were straight into using Xero on a daily basis. From this, they learned universities aren’t always up to speed with the industry. Be sure you’re reading widely and learning outside of structures before you take a job!
The ‘paperless’ office
On the first day at a new job, they were given a tour and shown a paper collection of every client’s documents. Needless to say, they were confused as to why accounting practices were still printing out and filing paper.
It is hugely inefficient (and risky) to manage the same information across multiple pieces of paper. You’re also at risk of losing valuable documents – as seen during emergencies such as the Christchurch earthquake, COVID lockdowns and Bay of Plenty floods.
Thankfully over time, most of us have transitioned to paperless systems with the support of products such as Xero Workpapers, FYI Docs and e-Sign tools. However, many firms are yet to digitise tax.
Managing client tax
IRD correspondence would arrive daily in paper form. A Tax Administrator would open the mail, look up which staff member worked on that client, and place the mail on their desks.
After a time, the practice implemented a new digital tax product. However, the only change to the process was the Tax Admin now scanned each individual letter, saved them into the product, and then emailed it out to the relevant staff.
Not a lot has changed since then – you can check your practice IRD mail online, but it’s still pretty manual.
How we’re changing these paradigms with Plugin Accountant
The software we’re building today is designed to fundamentally automate how accountants manage tax for clients.
This removes the risk of human error and brings the tax experience into a shared product space for the accountant and client. We’re also working to help clients avoid late filing and payment fees, meaning your practice becomes a tax service that means so much more than just telling clients they have bills to pay.
Let’s revolutionise how we deal with tax and provide value and insight to clients – rather than just a notice of a bill.