The importance of businesses preparing for the future

With ever-changing market trends and advances in technology, it is vital for businesses to move with the times to ensure the smooth running of operations.

In an effort to help companies across the north-east achieve this, accountancy and business advisers SBP reinvests a high amount of money into new technology to make its processes more automated, streamlined and efficient.

In 2016, the firm, which has offices in Aberdeen, Peterhead, Fraserburgh and Banff, invested in Cloud accounting software, which provides clients with real-time, user-friendly access to their accounting.

The innovative tool enables clients to keep on top of current management information, as well as the smaller accounting tasks such as bookkeeping, which SBP staff can also access.

Many accountancy firms do not use Cloud accounting in their standard practices, yet SBP has been proactive in not only implementing the software, but also appointing a Cloud Champion at each of its offices to undertake the full training and assist other employees.

SBP has also achieved Gold accreditation on its client-interfacing software, Xero, due to switching around 150 clients from using traditional accountancy methods to the cloud in a short time. The firm now has 20 Xero certified staff members.

Xero’s online accounting software allows users to have real time access to their business’s financial information and provides all of the features users would expect from an accounting package. The software has been designed to enable clients to manage their businesses accounts and bookkeeping from wherever they are while allowing SBP to remotely assist with their needs.

Ben Smith, a senior accountant at SBP, said: “Traditional accounting packages and record keeping can be tedious to use and can take up far too much of a business owner’s time and effort. Cloud based software can save a business time and money as it makes your data and records available to the right people anytime, anywhere and from any device.

Ben Smith

“I am the Cloud Champion for the Aberdeen office, and the company’s overall Cloud Champion, which means I meet with my colleagues from the company’s other offices in Peterhead, Fraserburgh and Banff to discuss how the Cloud system is working, and how we can improve things for clients.

“I also played a part in rolling out the Xero software across all of our offices when I joined the firm as I had previous experience with this. Being part of the Xero system gives my role variety, and I recently attended a two-day conference in London hosted by Xero.”

Managing partner of SBP, John Hannah, said: “The way accountants work over the next five years is going to change dramatically, and it is important for business owners to embrace the upcoming changes.

“Standard accounting typically concentrates on compliance-only work, however this will soon be a thing of the past. We recognise this and therefore are doing everything we can to adapt to these changes and provide more of an advisory role to our customers, as these changes take place.

“We will continue to be proactive and keep up-to-date with the latest legislation and technology advancements to ultimately position SBP as the ‘go to’ firm for all accountancy and tax advice in the north-east.”

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