IRIS World is always a highlight in our annual calendar. Yes, it’s a good opportunity to meet partners and network with colleagues, but the main reason I enjoy IRIS World is to speak to you, my customers, to learn about what is working for you, where we are going wrong and what improvements can be made.
An important take-away from this year’s event was truly enabling the ‘end to end digital journey’. Automating functions such as bookkeeping, streamlining processes and freeing time to develop value-added services for a practice’s client base enables many accounting practices to join the digital journey. Like ‘Farm to Fork’ for retailers, accountants can provide a paperless tax and accounts experience from client transaction to final filing at HMRC and Companies House.
You’ve told us how many of the elements of this digital journey are working well, but I often wonder how can we improve? The journey we’ve created is not yet firmly established as we all embark on this transformation together. Are there any elements you are struggling with? What are the things which are working well, and which problems have we not yet solved?
Listening and learning from each other is more important than ever before. With so many changes in the industry, it is imperative IRIS not only continually improves its portfolio of products, but provides support in every way possible. We heard firms such as Farnell Clarke, Indigo Tax & Accountancy and Prime Entry explain their journeys and how they have embraced the digital practice; by understanding businesses such as these, we can absorb and learn best practice to support other accountancy firms as they embark on their digital journey.
Customers are the bedrock of any business and of course we would not exist without you, so taking time to talk, listen to the developments in your practice and understand how we can improve is crucial.
I also learnt much from our recent research – Voice of the Accountant. For example, 93 per cent of you said you use payroll, so in response we launched a remote payroll entry system to help boost productivity.
As well as listening to customers, behind the scenes, IRIS has been working closely with HMRC and over the last 18 months we’ve substantially contributed to HMRC’s ambition to become one of the most digitally advanced tax administrations in the world. It’s only by listening to you and understanding this complex world that we can truly be the leader in compliance. I was delighted to hear how much depth of expertise IRIS has added to HMRC’s Making Tax Digital programme, strongly representing our customers’ interests, which has provided invaluable insight throughout the collaboration.
I’m very keen to learn more from you: what issues are you facing while transforming your practice? Or have you decided not to make any changes at all? Are your clients ready to use digital accounting or is it too painful?
Your opinion is never more important than now. In addition to your thoughts on the digital journey, we are keen to understand what’s working well and how can we improve our service. Through your feedback both directly and through NPS surveys, we act on your opinion to make better informed business decisions and improve our overall service.
Our winter NPS survey is due to arrive in your inbox in the next few weeks and I would like to encourage you to respond to the survey to help me improve the products and services we provide to you. If we are performing to your expectations, then scoring 9 or 10 will keep us on track; if you have areas you’d like us to improve, score us 7 or 8; and if you are not satisfied, score us 6 or below. Remember to provide a comment so I can understand and act on your feedback.