A collaborative approach to managing technological changes

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Mercer & Hole has been around for a long time, since 1905 in fact. I like to think of myself as a custodian, guiding a progressive business with a collaborative approach with my partners and teams. Here is my account of how we are growing and developing through an exciting time in our history.

My predecessors weathered two World Wars so I am not going to dwell on the challenges of Brexit but more so recognise that this is potentially a time of great change for the accounting profession (and others too) with the advances that are taking place in technology.

This pace of change is exciting but alongside it is the comfort of many constants. Fundamentally, much of that

comes from knowing who you are and what you stand for. In our case, we can whittle that down to people, service and community.

I am hugely excited about the possibilities that lay before us. For example, cloud-based accounting has already made a huge impact on the service we are able to offer our clients. We have realised we can offer our clients a better and more convenient and efficient service by using it. Money and time can be saved allowing business owners to focus on taking their businesses forward. The information exported though means little without the professional experience and knowledge of our team to decipher it and demonstrate its commercial use and advantage.

There have been many articles dedicated to the impact of AI on firms such as ourselves. Our Audit and Business Advisory team are trialling AI software and looking at the pros and cons of using available technology. We are working with the software developers to identify where there are shortfalls in current programmes and how the software needs to change to support us in practice. The focus is on improving the quality of delivery of the audit service to our clients, ensuring a robust and viable solution, utilising the latest technology available to improve efficiencies and reduce risk.

Both of these examples demonstrate that people and service are our drivers and technology is the tool.

I also mentioned the value we place on community; the close community in which we work, the professional community we are proud to be a part of and the local communities in which we operate. These communities guide and shape us.

Like any other business, we take advice, we plan, we celebrate our successes and we thrive on doing it our way. There is always going to be change but there is also a great deal to be gained in reflection, and in recognising where you stand in the here and now.

To talk about where you are now, where you want to be and the challenges you face in making that progression, please get in touch.

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