The Accountancy Practice of the Future

By Sam Thomas | 29th February 2016 | 14 min read

When we’re building new products at IRIS, or planning upgrades to existing ones, we always turn to our customers before looking internally or at the wider market.

A few years ago, if you wanted to use our software at your practice, you'd meet one of our consultants to view a demo and then, after thinking about the most appropriate system for you, agree to a contract (usually received via fax), print it and leave it on your desk for a few weeks before finally signing and returning it.

Nowadays, 98% of our clients sign their contract electronically as soon as they’re ready to move their practice to IRIS, and now more than half of our customers offer their clients exactly the same experience.

IRIS OpenSpace (which is a client portal, integrated into the main IRIS platform) enables accountants to share documents with and, where appropriate, ask their clients to approve or digitally sign them from a web browser or smartphone.

If you haven’t heard of IRIS OpenSpace, then take a look at one of your competitors' websites. If they have a 'client area' then there’s a good chance IRIS OpenSpace is powering it. Their clients are probably filling in their personal tax checklists, with previous year tax information viewable for reference, via that same portal, with the information flowing directly (and instantly) to the practice’s tax team for review and submission.

A client of ours, who advertises heavily online, recently informed us that there are an increasing proportion of clients who choose their new accountant based on the ways in which they will be able to collaborate with them digitally.

IRIS OpenSpace provides this functionality, as does KashFlow – our cloud-based bookkeeping and payroll software that allows streamlined client management, monitoring and collaboration – which the client branded with their personal company insignia. They also have the ability to hold online client meetings via WebEx and their clients are able to pay their invoices by credit card or by setting up recurring Direct Debits.

Find out more about the IRIS KashFlow Connect Partner Programme – a market-leading combination of innovative tech, comprehensive benefits and powerful tools designed to help you grow your practice.

Making collaborative tools available to clients is fast becoming table stakes, and will soon be the minimum a firm needs to provide in order to maintain industry parity. Food for thought the next time you’re browsing a competitor’s website.

Simple, secure, always accessible - IRIS OpenSpace is the ultimate collaborative tool for you and your clients. Try it FREE today.