A lack of fast and efficient broadband connections remains the greatest problem for UK accountants working away from the office, reveals new research from CaseWare (www.caseware.co.uk), a leading accounting and financial reporting software provider.

Over 40% of accountants in the UK top 100 practices, surveyed by CaseWare, say that efficient broadband connections remain a serious issue for remote workers. Around a quarter of respondents say they were unable to access particular programmes while working remotely, with 8% totally unable to access work files outside the office.

Thousands of mid-tier accountants are affected by slow broadband as flexible and remote working becomes standard practice in the industry. In fact, 92% of surveyed accountants say that they use technology to improve their services. Only 8% say that their firm’s technology is moderately important in helping them get the job done more efficiently.

Simon Warren
Simon Warren

The issue of fit-for-purpose office technology is of growing importance to accountancy firms, as an increasing number of business documents are stored and accessed via cloud services. Firms are making a considerable investment in office technology to make it the robust business tool.

In the CaseWare survey, only a third (34%) of accountants in the top 100 firms say that their firm’s PCs, laptops and office software are “very fast and they rarely have problems with them”. Two-thirds say that their office systems are only “moderately efficient and fit for purpose”.

Simon Warren, Managing Director at CaseWare, commented: “The positive findings from our survey are that accountancy practices overall have been making a considerable investment in their IT systems to ensure that they have fit-for-purpose tools for staff who work flexibly from clients’ offices, at home or on the move.

“However, it’s alarming to find out that here in the second decade of the 21st century broadband connections remain a serious problem for accountants in the UK.  This suggests that a strategy of adopting cloud-only applications for core systems which are also required out of the office, such as audit, may not provide the reliability, flexibility or back-up necessary for efficient working.”

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