Last year I wrote a blog triggered by my brother’s wedding anniversary.
30 years earlier he had married an American girl, and it got me thinking about the way in which the world had changed and technology has impacted every one of us in our professional and personal lives.
We made the journey from the UK to Texas for the celebrations; my father made a speech at the reception where he talked about how when his parents met they had lived in neighbouring towns in Yorkshire; in those days marrying someone not from your own town was considered adventurous. When he and my mother married, some 30 years later, he was a Yorkshire man living in Plymouth, she was a Cornish girl who’d crossed the Tamar – very exotic in those days, but the Yorkshire family made the long trip to the south west two days after Christmas for the wedding. Roll it forward another 30 years then, to our trek across the Atlantic. My father’s point was that times had changed, the world had shrunk and what was unimaginable to his parents’ generation was now an accepted part of our lives.
Roll that forward again, to 2020 and thanks to technology we were no longer using expensive transatlantic calls to keep up with the US family – we were video calling, having family group chats – including my 85 year old mother, who is still not quite used to seeing all our faces on the screen at the same time! Keeping in touch with younger family members as they explored the world was no longer via sporadic emails or snatched calls.
But now 2021.
Who could have envisaged where we would be now. Somehow it seems that, instead of shrinking our world has grown, with distance suddenly becoming an issue again: in just a few weeks we have lost that freedom of movement which we didn’t even realise we were taking for granted. We have all had to find ways of staying in contact, not just with friends, and family but business contacts as well. The technology we had been getting used to has become the lifeline through which we now keep in touch with everyone, whether across the Atlantic, or across the country, or even across the street.
Last year in that blog I commented on what we, as accountants, were seeing – how technology changes were impacting on how businesses operate; there was a shift in perception of cloud-based solutions such as Xero, which had been dismissed as ‘too small’, and not something to be considered by anything other than maybe a small owner-managed business. Over the years these solutions had developed to be so much more than ‘just’ an accounting tool; the developers understood that by adding more complex functionality they would increase the likely take up of their solution. Cloud accounting is no longer the new kid on the block – what started as a solution for smaller and start-up businesses was becoming an accepted cost-effective way of operating for many businesses who up till now would have an expensive, maybe even bespoke ERP system. Quite simply larger firms have realised they are missing out on the benefits of cloud-based solutions.
And now that remote working has become the norm these new systems are more important than ever. Those businesses with cloud-based solutions were much better positioned to continue to trade and adapt than those with office-based systems. And they could work easily with the finance professionals who have helped them through.
Even if you had not previously considered a move to the cloud for your business systems, now has to be the time to reconsider that. Even the most hardened sceptics would be hard-pressed to argue against at least exploring alternatives to the in-house solutions they have used for so many years.
Technology should solve problems and a tech-savvy accountant can help you with that. By adopting technology you can be the business equivalent of that family linked on social media – informed, up to date and responsive. Decisions can be made based on sound, timely, reliable information. And even better – meetings can take place and relationships be built without time-consuming journeys between offices or faceless phone calls; technology-led online meetings can mean maybe more regular but shorter meetings, with real pro-active involvement by all parties.
At Bridge, we are happy to spend the time with you exploring what your current systems are and how a move to the cloud could be beneficial to you and to your business. Book a discovery call now, you might be surprised at what you discover when you get your head into the cloud.