Accountancy firms are continuously seeking new quality services to offer their clients. E-business seems to be the most promising area for this, with modern technology enabling accountants to work more efficiently and closely with the client and to mutually share information via the internet. Briefly illustrated below, the future of business lies in Internet technology, and the first step in this direction is global e-business consulting.
A company's website is a virtual "window" to a business. With the virtual business world changing rapidly, the significance of a website is enormous. A large number of Internet service providers and specialist suppliers provide accountants with the tools for website creation. They often help accountants in advising clients on establishing their own sites.
However, to build a simple website is not complicated and there is no need for deep IT expertise, since it only includes the following basics: home page, "about us", products, services and links. The above may sound simple (the most straightforward tip on website creation would be: see as many websites as possible and choose what you think constitutes a good site), however, a really good, professional website design would come courtesy of specialists.
Anyone thinking of what should be in a website should therefore bear in mind that the website is their own "marketplace", where their business can start and grow. An appealing website can more than repay the time invested in it, and there can be even more to it - it can bring along stronger links with the existing clients and/or an introduction to prospective new clients.
The majority of accountants have so far avoided deeper involvement in e-business, feeling no need to find out more about available software packages. Ignoring this valuable revenue stream would, of course, not contribute to a business. The hitherto utilised method of installing accounting systems often without direct advice from an accountant has not worked well. This is now an area where (by getting involved in the package implementations) accountants can gain a great deal of credibility. There is no doubt that such knowledge will shift a firm's service range farther.
As already mentioned in this newspaper, it is understood that the accounting business is no longer a set of unimaginative services. There are new trends emerging in this area, with e-business opportunities taking the lead. As in any other business, the focus remains unchanged - it is customer satisfaction that counts and which can only be achieved by timely delivery of a service and post-implementation support. Using developed methods under the umbrella of "client- relationship management", firms can benefit by learning from their past working experience, endeavouring to improve their performance as much as possible.