IPA to continue its digitisation strategy in 2020
The IPA will be continuing its digitisation strategy in 2020, as it works towards providing a more streamlined member experience.
The Institute of Public Accountants (IPA) kicked off its transition to cloud computing some three years ago, and in 2020 it will be taking the next step as it looks to increase its operational effectiveness.
“We’ve had a journey over the last two to three years of moving to the cloud computing position with our IT, that’s been a long journey, but I think now we’re in a position where we can leverage some of those benefits,” said Brett Maloney, chief operating officer of the IPA.
With the whole team working on the same platform, the IPA staff are able to up the quality of the online services they offer to their members.
“It’s about empowering our staff to find where the tools are, they need to do their job most effectively. That has a few other benefits, like reducing stress for them. I mean, the analogy I would use is if you’re looking for a tool in a tool box and it’s a big mess, you’re going to be shouting and screaming,” Mr Maloney said.
“But if you know where everything is, you can get accessibility, it empowers you to do your job and have pride in that.”
As for members, the new changes within the IPA will allow them to access the information they need quicker and easier.
“We can support members in a more positive way, we can organise our resources for members and importantly accessibility for members. So, if they go to our website, they can find things easily and quickly. If they have any questions, they know who to talk to if they need more information,” Mr Maloney said.
He explained that every accounting practice should be going down a similar journey of digitisation, to make sure they are optimising their capabilities and and their client engagement.
Mr Maloney advised accountants to consider a cloud strategy.
“There are a few reasons for that, one is accessibility for the team, concepts around a mobile workforce and issues around the diversity of the workforce,” he said.
“If you have a cloud computing platform, people can work from home, if they’re part-time employees or they may be returning to the workforce after a period of maternity leave or something like that, it just gives a greater ability to attract the right talent to your business. I think an accounting practice is not immune from some of those issues.”
He concluded that once a practice has all the processes right – the technology, processes and staff training – the financial benefits will ensue naturally.