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By Rohan Day, Partner, Armstrong Watson

The world is changing – and faster than ever. This is mainly due to rapid advances in technology and artificial intelligence (AI).

These advances will affect all businesses and therefore we all need to be creative, proactive and flexible to cope with the opportunities and challenges that arise… and that includes your accountant too!

So in this dynamic, technologically advanced world, what do businesses actually want from their accountants and how does this compare with the services that the vast majority of accountancy firms offer?

Without doubt there has been a change in the supply and demand for differing “accountancy” services, from cores services of historic accounts and tax returns to the role of a true business adviser.

This role is much more personal and the adviser needs to adopt an holistic approach to seek to understand their client's needs and to help them navigate a path whereby the client can achieve their goals, both business and personal.

The firms that have embraced this shift in needs are finding that they can add real value to their clients and are appreciated as a necessity to the success of the business.

This is a totally different mind-set and refreshing approach to relationships, which cements the role of the accountant as an adviser who is a vital part of the team. As ‘adviser’, the accountant is in a fortunate and key position where he/she should know everything they need to know about the business in terms of sensitive financial information to then be able to stand back and help add a different perspective to discussions around important decisions.

Planning strategically will help you to optimise the outcome – whatever that desired outcome may be. These things take time, but it is vitally important to take strategic advice from your trusted adviser.

In this respect, advances in technology and artificial intelligence (AI) will never be able to replace human intelligence and the power of strong relationships.

To discuss how strategic business advice could support your business goals, get in touch with Rohan Day rohan.day@armstrongwatson.co.uk or call 01756 620000.