Context-switching and multitasking: unravelling the productivity myth

The stark reality of near-flat UK productivity levels, highlighted in the latest official figures as part of the Autumn Budget, presents an opportunity to boost productivity.

Endpoint security isn’t enough to protect your hybrid workers from cybercrime

Now a central priority for many modern employees, hybrid working will play an active role in shaping the future of work. But what does this mean for cyber security?

How accounting firms can bolster cybersecurity through AI integration

In recent years the threat of cyber-attacks has grown significantly, with both the frequency and sophistication of attempted breaches increasing.

Resource management challenges: 6 common blockers and how to overcome them to achieve your maturity goals

Maturing your resource management leads to firm-wide benefits and ultimately growth.

Accountants need a modern document management system

Accountancy firms realise the importance of technology in helping them function efficiently.

Are your clients happy? The power of brilliant customer care

Your clients might not be as happy as you think.

Looking forward: How to drive change in your accounting practice

The metronome that is accounting and tax work often makes for a workplace and culture that is change-averse.

previous issues

Endpoint security isn’t enough to protect your hybrid workers from cybercrime

Now a central priority for many modern employees, hybrid working will play an active role in shaping the future of work. But what does this mean for cyber security?

The Truth About Timesheets: Debunking Common Misconceptions

Arguments against timesheets often assume a one-size-fits-all scenario, ignoring the diverse landscape of services in top accounting firms.

Plugging accounting employment gaps through tech innovation and cultural evolution

In recent years, a skills gap in the accounting sector has been gradually widening, as firms have had fewer applicants to choose from and interest in a career as an accountant has dwindled.

Computer Aid: Bridging The Digital Divide For Over 25 Years

As we reflect on the journey of Computer Aid over the past year and since our inception, we are filled with immense pride and gratitude for the incredible milestones achieved.

The Rise of AI in Tax & Accounting: practices, take note

It's not just the large practices that need to be thinking about AI, but small and medium practices need to take note of the hype.

Resource management maturity: The 6 firm-wide benefits of levelling up

In the dynamic landscape of the accountancy industry, optimising growth is a constant pursuit for firms seeking sustained success. An often-overlooked function that plays a pivotal role in achieving this goal is resource management.

What does artificial intelligence mean for accountants?

Undoubtedly, we are now in an era characterised by rapid technological advancements, with the integration of artificial intelligence (AI) into various industries becoming increasingly explored.  

AI: 3 ways to reap the rewards and reduce the risks

Interest in AI has risen sharply in 2023, but as with all advances in technology, it’s not exempt from the perceived risks of adoption. Whether that be mass market AI tools such as Chat GPT or accountancy specific AI software, public resistance to AI remains. However, with great benefits to gain from using AI, learning how to navigate the risks and reap the rewards is increasingly important for firms.

3 Reasons it’s Good to be Human in an AI Age 

The rise of artificial intelligence (AI) has become prominent in many sectors from marketing to financial services and healthcare – and many media outlets continue to debate whether technology can ever replace human touch and interaction.

How accounting firms and their clients can leverage artificial intelligence to enforce compliance requirements

Artificial intelligence (AI) is reinventing the way we conduct business across all industries. And, for the most part, business decision-makers are open to learning more about the opportunities that AI presents, from increased efficiencies to lower costs.

How small accountancy practices can save time with integrated software

Starting and running a small business of any kind is a full-time job. In many ways, building a growth strategy for that business is another full-time job in itself. It’s tough for many accountants to dedicate adequate time to acquiring clients and recruiting employees.

Introduce business print into your sustainability strategy

When formulating your ESG strategy, business print is a vital area to address – and sustainability, cost-efficiency, and maximum device uptime can all be attained through refurbished print devices.

Better together: 3 reasons automation is reviving not replacing your resource managers

As the war for talent continues, accounting firms are having to do more with less: less resources, less time, and less budget. This puts increasing pressure on existing teams to become more productive and streamline their processes. However, many firms have missed a trick.

How is AI driving the progress of the accountancy industry?

AI will be crucial for better understanding user intent, automating routine processes, analysing and simplifying large data sets, and streamlining how accountancy firms manage information, according to Ville Somppi, Vice President of Industry Solutions at M-Files

Why Auditors Should Care About Security and What Is The Gold Standard?

While security is unlikely to be at the forefront of decision-makers at audit firms when adopting new technology tools, it is one of the most critical elements to consider when reviewing which vendor tools to incorporate into audits.

Be the king of customer care this spring

This spring is more than just a sea of tulips and daffodils and longer evenings, it’s also awash with five public holidays as Easter, the May bank holidays and the King’s Coronation herald welcome time-off for much of the nation.  But these extra holidays, especially when savvy employees tag them onto longer breaks, can cause serious operational challenges.

Overcoming your IT challenges with a Managed IT Service

Is your IT presenting you with more than your fair share of challenges? A Managed IT Service may be key to overcoming them.

Can accountancy firms catch up on diversity? 3 ways tech can help

Despite accountancy firms investing in diversity and inclusion programmes, recent figures suggest that the diverse make-up of the accountancy workforce is falling behind its counterparts. So what’s holding them back?  

Cyber Security threats Accountancy firms should expect in 2023

Accountancy firms will always be a serious target for cyber criminals due to their sensitive client information and the significant funds they handle. Extensive data consumption means they need to ensure they have the right technology in place to protect client information with the increasing threat from cyber criminals.

Accessibility, context and automation will help accountancy firms achieve digital distinction

Digital Distinction will be central to the continued success of established accountancy firms competing against the new wave of digital native companies, says Ville Somppi, Vice President of Industry Solutions at M-Files, a global leader in information management

Most QuickBooks & Xero users are at risk, here's why:

What would your business do if you lost all transaction data from the last 6 months or if you lost some accountant data just before you had to submit your accounts to HMRC? How would you be able to fix it in 90 seconds and get your business running smoothly again?

The Growing Need to Stay Connected

The last few years have been a valuable lesson in the importance of staying connected with each other and our clients.  With a whole raft of digital tools at our collective disposal, hybrid working now commonplace for many businesses and consumers becoming more demanding, it has become challenging for accountancy practices to deliver excellent and consistent customer care.

It’s time to love data, not battle it

Data has always been critical for accountancy practices.The difference between past and present, is that twenty-five odd years ago when I was an accountant; everything was stored in paper files.

Winning the race for talent - 3 reasons why firms must invest in tech

The accountancy profession is facing disruption from all directions. The ongoing skills shortage and the race to secure talent is having a profound impact across the industry. Faced with the ongoing cost of recruitment and the impact of replacing people, firms at all levels have recognised the need to overhaul their retention strategies and enhance their employee offering.

How to ensure a seamless transition from in-office to remote work

Gone are the days when an employer could expect their people in the office five days a week.  Covid-related culture shifts, coupled with new technology, have removed barriers and left organisations with little alternative to a hybrid model, as a minimum requirement.

How MMP Limited switched to Wolters Kluwer’s accounting suite

MMP had faced cumulative problems with its incumbent accounting software provider, with whom they had had a longstanding association. From around 2016, users within the practice were experiencing slowness with the software, while licensing costs were simultaneously rising.

Computer Aid: Bridging the digital divide for over 25 years

Computer Aid International is a charity working to bridge the digital divide across the globe. It creates opportunities for people by providing access to the digital world, with a focus on improving education.

How to recover from ransomware: what does the NCSC say?

At the same time, hackers and cyber-criminals sat up and took note. They realised that timely, emotive messaging around COVID could help the effectiveness of attacks, all whilst employees were often less able to access technical support and likely had weakened cyber-security at home.

Accountancy Practice Management
for Future-Fit Growth: part I - the power of KPIs

Our employees work side by side with our customers to create and manage these solutions – driven by a deep understanding of their needs and addressing the rapid changes in their environment. However, it’s often hard to look beyond improving performance in day-to-day operations.

Open finance is then next stage for Open Banking adopters

Adoption of Open Banking has been driven by remote working and increasing audit quality scrutiny over the past two years. Highlighted by the 5 million open banking users milestone reached in February this year. Despite the acceleration of open banking adoption, it remains a relatively new concept (first mandated in the UK in 2018), putting banking data in the hands of businesses and consumers, this is just the tip of the iceberg compared to open finance.

20 tips to keep your business Cyber Secure

Accountancy Firms have always been a big target for cyber security threats.  Extensive data consumption from their clients means it’s essential for them to ensure the right technology is in place to protect and lock down that information from the increasing threat.

How to battle budget-write offs and deliver more profit

Delivering consistent engagement performance has become an increasingly complex nut to crack. Accounting firms of all sizes are battling against budget write-offs, cost increases, skill shortages, and "the Great Resignation."

The key to employee retention lies in technology

Employees are increasingly looking for a purpose-driven, engaging, and positive culture that prioritises the employee experience. With this shift, leaders need to consider if the environment they are creating is human-centric and employee-focused

2021 AIT conference a roadmap to the future

This year’s ‘members only’ event is one not to be missed! It’s been a challenging and unprecedented two years and now is the time to reconnect. The event will provide networking opportunities for both accountancy firms and suppliers, with just the right mix of informative presentations, round table discussions and social activities.


When I wrote the “CIO perspective on Learnings from Covid_19 pandemic” piece in the December 2020 Portrait edition there was still massive uncertainty as to what2021 would hold for us, both professionally and personally. The overwhelmingly positive progress on vaccinations in the UK and the government’s easing of restrictions has informed our decision to hold the annual AIT conference face to face. When discussing the theme we felt the AIT members and suppliers did not just want to connect, rather needed to re-connect.

Corporate events agency who benefited from greener graphics initiative

“Apogee are not just aprinting company, theyconsult with us and go onto deliver a full end to endservice from concept toinstallation. They go aboveand beyond and we lookforward to continuing ourjourney with them”

Solving Data Quality Management Complexities

Work Capcha automatically tracks your digital journey throughout your day so you don’t have to. Your activity appears in your Day Bookas you start to make calls, attend meetings, send and receive emails, and use applications such as Xero from our eco-system.

How big companies are making a difference through their IT Disposal

Every business wants to ensure their staff have the best tools to do their job, but unfortunately when it comes to technology, this can result in a lot of waste. E-waste is one of the fastest growing waste streams in the world, with manufacturers pushing out more and more new technology each year, however almost half of the world remains cut off from the digital world.

A CIO perspective on learnings from the Covid_19 pandemic

When we all put away the Christmas decorations in January this year who could have predicted the change in all our lives over the rest of 2020 and beyond. It has been a challenging year on many fronts with familiar names disappearing from the High Street and people being subject to restrictions on their lives in a way most of us have never experienced before. The loss of lives of over 61,000 lives in the UK from the Corona Virus is truly shocking.

How to get strategic management information with no effort

Whilst this year has set challenges that no one could imagine, the accounting sector has battled through, rethinking strategy, and accelerating digital transformation. As we approach the end of this year, let’s move forward and start 2021 afresh. So, how can your firm hit the ground running with a business growth strategy that strengthens and builds on what you have already set in place?

Moving Pay Portal technology to the next level in accounting firms

Pay Portals have been around for a number of years now and accounting firms - like society in general – have begun to adopt them as they offer practices benefits in a number of areas.

Are you maximising client engagement and collaborating with purpose? 

The coronavirus pandemic has brought many things into sharp focus, not least how critical it is for organisations to collaborate with purpose. Additionally, it has enforced a mass move to remote working and, in turn, catalysed digital transformation. These are three central, but interlinked, pillars for any progressive business in 2020. 

How your firm can unlock data to win work and keep clients 

These unprecedented times have highlighted just how critical communication is. Key during this crisis period is to make contact with the right people at your client’s firm ensuring you can provide help where it’s most needed. What’s crucial is these connections must be direct person-to-person contact. However, you need to know who the best person in your business is to establish that connection. 

For crying out loud: Why now is the time to invest in a cloud DMSlot 

It seems that because of system constraints and limitations, many accountancy firms are struggling to deliver normal client services during the pandemic. In this article, Colin McArdle, Tikit’s Senior Account Director for the Accountancy sector in EMEA, is therefore asking if it’s now time for firms to think about upgrading their digital capacity with the introduction of a cloud-based document management system.

Oops… I did it again!

A new data breach hits the headlines every day – and the repercussions are only getting more serious. According to the latest ‘Cost of a Data Breach’ report from Ponemon and IBM, companies pay an average of $3.9m per breach.

Should accountancy firms now be investing in a modern, cloud-based Electronic Content Management System?  

Do accountants need Electronic Content Management Systems (ECMS)? It’s a question that, sooner or later, every firm is going to have to address. Firms are faced with increasing challenges around the growing volumes of data that they have to store, much of it email, and the necessity to demonstrate convincingly to clients that their data is held securely.

Have you ever sent an email to the wrong person?

During a talk I gave at this year’s AIT Conference, I asked, “Is there anyone sitting in the audience who has never sent an email to the wrong person?” Not a single person put up their hand! There’s no question we have all emailed the wrong person at least once in our careers.  Sometimes these mistakes are embarrassing. But, other times, sending an email to the wrong person can be seriously damaging.

How to Choose a Cloud Based Document Management System

According to Colin McArdle, Tikit’s Senior Account Director for the Accountancy sector in EMEA, we’re at the point where firms can clearly see the benefits of a cloud-based document management system (DMS). The question is now, “Which system should I choose?” Here Colin provides some useful answers

Data Health Check 2018 10 year edition

A snapshot of the IT industry, from the people on the ground. The Data Health Check is our annual survey into cyber security, cloud computing and IT resilience. Every year, we asks industry practitioners what’s going on in their world for a snapshot of what Directors, Managers and technicians have experienced in the last 12 months.

Why a feature analysis is an important part of a software swap-out

As organisations migrate to Windows 10 many will use it as an opportunity to improve other parts of their information systems. Refreshing the tools you use to work with and manage documents all at once can have a positive impact on costs and save a whole lot of time and stress. There are, however, many products available that promise to solve a problem. How will you know which one to pick?

Cloud Best Practices: Audit Checklist for Endpoint Security

MobileIron is a government-grade cloud and endpoint security platform. Here is how our customers leverage MobileIron technology to address the checklist.

Time to use data more strategically

For too long time recording has been seen as a back-office activity, and not one of strategic value. In this article, Colin McArdle, Tikit’s Senior Account Director for the Accountancy sector in EMEA corrects that view by arguing that timekeeping can actually become a critical component of strategic planning – if practices use the right tools to exploit its potential.

GDPR – a Guide to Disaster Recovery compliance

On 25 May 2018, the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into effect. With it comes changes to data protection law that anyone selling or monitoring data within the EU and holding customer data must comply with.GDPR replaces the Data Protection Directive 95/46/EC and was designed to harmonise data privacy laws across Europe, to protect and empower all EU citizens data privacy and to reshape the way organisations across the region approach data privacy.

GDPR: 83% of UK Accountants have yet to Speak to Clients about GDPR

According to a recent Thomson Reuters survey of 650 UK accountants, 83% have not yet spoken to their clients about the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), but plan to. Surprisingly, just 13% have already discussed it, and 4% said they have no plans to talk to clients about GDPR.

GDPR: Why Accidental Information Leaks Should Have You Worried

In the lead up to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) coming into force, many organisations will be increasing their data protection by scrambling to prevent against cyberattacks and hackers. In most cases, however, it’s far more likely that information will leak unintentionally.

Making Time Work For You

Timekeeping data is a hugely valuable asset for accountancy practices, argues Colin McArdle, Tikit’s Senior Account Director for the accountancy sector in EMEA. In this article he outlines how such data can make a significant contribution to competitiveness and profitability

Challenges for the digital practice

If it’s done nothing else, Making Tax Digital has put the discussion of digital technology in the accountancy profession firmly on the table.

Although MTD has now been delayed, the government is still clearly committed to taking as many services as possible online, not least because of the significantly lower cost of transacting its business that way. So what challenges – apart from purely technical ones – are likely to face an IT director looking toward this new, digital future?

5 Essential GDPR Hacks for Accounting Firms

The way accounting firms process client and employee data is about to change. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will apply from May 2018 and firms need to be compliant or risk fines of up to 4% of global revenue. So, what does this mean for you? If the firm handles personal data of EU citizens it will have to ensure data handling practices meet the standards detailed in the GDPR.

Making Tax Digital isn’t Going Away

Thomson Reuters’ survey reveals the views of UK accountants on the Government’s MTD deferral. The deferral of Making Tax Digital (MTD) has not slowed accountants’ preparations, according to the latest survey by Thomson Reuters.

Making Tax Digital Dominated Accountex

Thomson Reuters hosted a series of seminars at Accountex – the UK’s biggest accountancy exhibition and conference – on the practicalities of working with HMRC’s Making Tax Digital (MTD) regulations and provided real-life insight into the MTD pilot.

Being bad at Excel is bad for business

Excel’s long-held status as the program of choice for accountants comes down to the fact that it is considerably easy to use, modify, and adapt to a variety of businesses processes and functions. Because so many businesses use Excel spreadsheets to make crucial businesses decisions, the results they produce are incredibly integral to success in the financial industry. This is why errors in Excel can be particularly disastrous.

Thomson Reuters Announces Onvio Tax for Making Tax Digital

Thomson Reuters, the world’s leading provider of intelligent information for businesses and professionals, has announced plans to launch Onvio Tax – a new cloud-based solution designed specifically to enable accountancy firms to work with HMRC’s Digital Tax Accounts. 

Accountex previews new exhibitors & features for 2017

Accountex – The National Accountancy Exhibition & Conference, has released its first preview of new exhibitors and show theatres for 2017.

Efficient office management creates more opportunities for advice 

A tightly run office and intensive online collaboration with clients. This combination increases your chances of standing out as a ‘business coach’, a much-discussed concept among SME accountants. What is your client strategy?