Why Peak Chartered Accountants are so tech-positive

Nov 15, 2021 | Advisors

The world of work is constantly changing – and its acceleration over the past two years has ensured that we need to adapt and meet the needs of a changing workplace.

For professional services like accounting, at its core, the modern workplace is an intelligent blend of physical and digital, leveraging the best of both worlds and being powered by the cloud. This purpose-built ecosystem can integrate apps, tools and services that make up an accountant’s ideal work platform, championing flexibility, productivity and security.

We sat down with Anne Topham, Director at Peak Chartered Accountants. She is always been extremely conscious of the power of technology for accountants. It’s why she’s so committed to adopting new tech that adds value for her team – this despite operating in the small town of Taumarunui on New Zealand’s North Island.

“I’m somebody who looks for not a price result, but a value result,” Anne says. “I want to know what sort of product I’m getting for the investment – how will it add to our business? To me, it’s very important to get something that’s fit-for-purpose.”

 

Making the decisions for her firm

Having been familiar with APS for decades, Anne says adopting the APS Accountants’ Workspace was just a natural progression of choosing the right technology for the job – although it happened at arguably the worst possible time, during the onset of COVID-19.

“We found we were accumulating more and more programs that were cloud-based, and we were just using up so much RAM on our hosted server solution that the system would begin to grind as the day went on. Then during lockdown last year in April, I recognised we were in a hybrid situation where we didn’t need to be working through a centralised service. We just needed to be able to talk directly to the outside world.

I thought to myself: wouldn’t it great to have the benefits of a hosted server, but still be able to work with web applications and talk between the two of them – to have it all controlled so it was an integrated experience for users?”

“We made the decision to do that in August 2020. One of the big challenges was how we ran our document management system, because of course you need the bridges between your desktop and the server. So we not only required a change in platform, but our document management system as well.”

 

The smooth transition

For accountants in a small town, it’s safe to assume they have spent at least a portion of their careers working with more traditional tools, whether it’s a paper ledger or an Excel spreadsheet, and they are usually very familiar working with legacy systems. For Anne and her team, however, technology is a core part of everything they do. So when the time came to roll out the APS digital workspace, Anne knew the best way to guide everyone through the transition.

“We were fortunate in New Zealand that we were all back in the office at that stage. I actually timed it deliberately because we had a retiring team member, so she wasn’t affected by it but the incoming staff were trained that way from day one. That way we didn’t have the new team members learning two systems.

Everyone took to it well. They’re used to me changing things on them, which always helps. We are a team of 12 to 13, depending on what’s going on with the business and team members, and they’re used to us saying, ‘We’ve got to move forward to the next step.’ They understood the frustrations we’d been having with the performance decay, so they knew the reasons we were doing it. “

Continual improvement is key

For other practices considering the value of adopting a cloud-based accounting solution like APS Accountants’ Workspace, Anne advises to go into any major change with the right mindset.

“You should always have a mindset of continuous improvement. Get your mind and your team’s minds focused on that – whatever they’re doing. It really makes these transitions a heck of a lot easier. You also want to make sure you’ve got one or two people who can help you drive it. That may take a little bit of time to develop. For some of them, change will never be a problem. But you do find that younger people are usually less scared of change than those who’ve been doing the same thing for the past 15 years.

Approach it as being evolutionary rather than revolutionary. You don’t want to leave yourself so far behind the eight ball that when you suddenly do need to keep up, it’s revolutionary and much harder to change.”

The outcome

“We now have the best user experience for our team, with a solution that brings together all correspondence, documents and streams our apps, for seamless team and client collaboration.

Leveraging cloud technology like APS Accountants’ Workspace enables us to scale as required and gives us easy access to powerful reporting and analytics – all within a fully managed and secure environment.”

Peak Accounting is just one of many happy APS customers. If you’re ready to shift your practice to a digital workplace and take control of your work environment, we’re here to help. With APS Workspace you can do just that, all within a user friendly accountancy solution that solves your productivity and accessibility issues, to bring everything into one centralised cloud workspace. Isn’t it time you took advantage of a smarter way of working?

The future practice starts right here – book a consultation with us today!

 

To find out more about APS software, visit www.aps-software.com.

APS is a division of Reckon, an ASX listed company. We develop the software used by the best Accounting Firms in Australia and New Zealand to run their business’ and advise their clients.

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