Accountancy going paperless and borderless in the new normal era - My reportage from Bangkok -
My name is Joanna Strickland, I am one of the Lead Directors of The Frank Accountants alongside Jessica Reed.
I wish to announce we are now lucky enough to be partnered with the consortium Glasiaous. I would like to recount with you my visit to the accountancy firms in the consortium in Bangkok. Our findings show Glasiaous is a successful international online accountancy. We have been accountants for several years and have watched accountancy practices and taxation change considerably with online access and streamlining of systems. We have witnessed the transition from 100% paper-based accounts, firms and systems, to digital and online systems which are now 99% paperless.
The introduction of different software and with HMRC (Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs), have enabled an estimated 90% paperless system. HMRC applications and submissions cannot be done with physical paper administration due to COVID- 19. As people are staying indoors, an online presence is becoming more prominent in many industries. It has enabled us as a company to develop a paperless office, transactions and shift to being online. This shift to online administration, has enabled our profit margin to increase by 80%.
This is net and gross profit, there is no cost of sales. Normally one month’s workload can now be processed within one / two days and now we have increased our workload more efficiently.
The Frank Accountants benefits by being more sustainable and environmentally friendly as we focus on maintaining a paperless company. It allows us to have a great ethos within our company, by streamlining and micromanaging allowing us the freedom to allocate time to ensure we give the best service and secure new clients. With years of experience trying different software available to accountancy firms, I have become restless of the continuous errors and problems in software that were unresolved throughout the UK.
We became proactive to find a new software that was suited to our professional needs and requirements. I am now situated in Thailand due to COVID-19, I have been able to look at international resources available. During this period I came across the company Glasiaous’ software.
It is tailored to my precise needs and suitable to use with internationally based clients. This, combined with a top online security system. With my prior knowledge and understanding of how to use this type of software, I knew that we would be able to work more efficiently and intelligently for our clients. It was a great relief, and a huge surprise to be invited to be a representative and partner within the consortium. We wish to further develop our understanding about international accountancy practices, and as we have a high regard for the professional standards of the partners, I arranged a business meeting in Bangkok to familiarize myself with my new partners. I was able to visit three of the offices and with the last office, we arranged a Google meets to ensure we were all on the same page. I was nervous before the visit and with this new opportunity. I have pre-existing experience and knowledge working with Japanese business etiquette and maintain a high respect for their level of work standards. I was made to feel very welcome by all involved, it was a productive day that I will always remember and one of my proudest moments as a female accountant in the international finance industry.
After reviewing my meetings, I compared how similar and demanding accounting standards are worldwide and this enforced how pro-active Glasiaous is by introducing each company to the paperless system. These outdated paper systems use unnecessary resources with premises and labour costs to track paper receipts, invoices etc. It is very difficult and a waste of time for people to commute to a paperless office. This time could be allocated to excel in other departments within accountancy.
All representatives of the company were highly efficient and professional. It was easy for us to share our experiences of our old paper-based offices. I have been paperless now for almost two years, but I remember walking into the office to the boxes and boxes of files needed for clients and trying to locate information even when using the best filing systems in the world. It is time consuming, and of course time equals money. I’ve managed to maintain being paperless for almost two years now, but with COVID-19 we have managed to become 99% paperless. I honestly believe that software like Glasiaous will completely revolutionize accountancy throughout Asia, but we have to be reliant on the government insisting that we are paperless.
We need governments to push the transition to online administration when possible. Then we can appreciate how robust Glasiaous is with the recording of complete and accurate accounting reports.
Labour costs will be saved and allocated to other departments to drive recruiting more clients and/or client care.
In these uncertain economic times, we have found that our roles as accountants have changed into a financial counsellor, support group and a cheerleader. Our clients are concerned for their future and we are in a position to reduce fees slightly, we are open to spending time discussing the dreams, exit or entry plans into certain projects, instead of just pushing receipts for profits. Currently people need all of the support within the business industry. When this pandemic is over, they can bring their best businesses forward. We can say with hand on heart, that we have the best software in place for them and hopefully we can all work together to work alongside the governments to drive towards a 100% online accountancy.
It was an honour and wonderful day discussing accounts practices with my partners that I met, I am amazed at how similar taxation accountancy standards are throughout the world. There were only one or two things I needed explained but I could use UK terminology. I found the trip to be overall inspiring and confidence building. I’m very excited for the future and the processes which will be introduced to enable us to work together, help and support each other within the consortium. We are very blessed and thankful to be given this opportunity and looking forward to Borderless accountancy.
We would like to Thank for their time, knowledge and hospitality;
Hirofumi Takatsuji from CaN International Advisory Company
Piyatida Kalaboot, Shuhei Takahashi, Hiroko Uemura from Tokyo Consulting Firm Company
Takafumi Yamamoto from BBS ∙ Hayato MATSUZAKI from Hongo Toyo Accounting Co., Ltd