Often, when people think of accountants and accounting firms they think traditional, old-fashioned, and my personal favourite, boring.
Admittedly, taxes may not be everyone else's favourite subject so perhaps the boring label remains unchanged, but these days the accounting world is far from old fashioned. Here are some examples of what it looks like to have an accountant today in the digital age, compared to 30 years ago:
30 YEARS AGO: drop off your box of receipts and paperwork for the year in person at your local accountant's office.
TODAY: snap pictures of receipts on your phone and automatically upload them to an online software where your accountant has joint access and can process them in real time or assist your external bookkeeper.
30 YEARS AGO: call and asked to be scheduled in for an appointment at your local accountant's office during business hours. Arrange your schedule accordingly to account for travel time, etc.
TODAY: schedule a video chat on your phone or tablet from wherever you are.
30 YEARS AGO: arrange in advance to pick up copies of financial statements and tax returns from your accountant so that you can provide any relevant financial information to the bank.
TODAY: call your accountant while sitting in front of your banker to ask if they can securely email electronic copies of your tax return and notice of assessment and wait while it shows up almost instantly in your banker's inbox.
30 YEARS AGO: keep those paper copies of your records safe and sound in a box somewhere taking up valuable real estate space for at least 7 years, where you might trip over them but will (hopefully) never look at them again. Company accounting ledger books must be stored away too, so don't forget to plan for extra space if you own a company.
TODAY: request paperless service from your accountant and receive only electronic copies of all of your financial statements, tax returns, and records provided. Store these electronically, and back them up to a hard drive, where you'll (hopefully) never look at them again. Company accounting records are stored in your accounting software on the cloud, so no need to worry about that.
We want to hear from you: what is your preferred method of communicating with an accountant?
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