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Accountants Lead on Technology Use in Business – CCH Survey

The research reveals that technology is integral to accountants's business processes and growth

Accountants are racing ahead of other professions in their use of new technologies to grow their business, according to research commissioned by CCH, the tax and accounting information and software provider, part of Wolters Kluwer ( www.cch.co.uk).

Almost a quarter (24%) of senior managers polled in the online YouGov survey say this is the case, placing accountants ahead of management consultants(20%) and lawyers (7%).

The CCH research, conducted in October 2009, reveals that technology is integral to accountants’ business processes and growth. Over a third (39%) believe that technology is the biggest factor driving change in the profession, placing it second only to increased regulatory complexity (57%) and equal to the impact of the global recession (39%). This figure is even higher among practice accountants, with almost half (43%) saying technology is the biggest factor driving change.

The majority (95%) of accountants are now comfortable reading and searching for accountancy information online, and with processing information and data online, which 84% say isn’t a problem.

In this respect, accountants are ahead of the business owners (clients) and managers surveyed – only 70% say the same.

There is also a gap between accountants and their clients when it comes to sharing documents online, with 45% of clients saying they don’t share documents online and don’t plan to in the near future. Only 34% of accountants say this and a quarter (25%) say the ability to work with digital documents has been most beneficial development to the accounting profession on the last decade.

However, accountants may be wary of moving their processes entirely online too quickly because over half (55%) of the clients polled expect them to process information both online and in hardcopy format.

Cathy Wolfe, the UK CEO of Wolters Kluwer, parent company of CCH, says: “It is good to see that accountants are leading the way when it comes to using new technologies in their businesses. By moving processes and information online, they can improve speed and efficiency, accuracy and cut down on paper. This all means better service and happier clients.

“However, it seems that they may have some work to do to make their clients understand the benefits of what technology can bring in terms of process efficiency.”

Notes to editors:

Note on the research
All figures are from YouGov plc. Total sample size was 315 business owners (clients) and managers and 210 accountants. Fieldwork was undertaken between 19 and 22 October 2009.  The survey was carried out online.

For further information contact:
Anna King/Laura Pykett
Flagship Consulting
020 7886 8440
Firstname.lastname@flagshipconsulting.co.uk

About Wolters Kluwer UK
Wolters Kluwer UK, incorporating the core brands, CCH and Croner, is the UK’s most respected provider of information and consultancy services, providing a range of smart information tools that help make businesses more effective and profitable — from online interactive products and CD-ROMs to books, professional journals, loose-leaf publications and advice lines.  www.cch.co.uk    www.croner.co.uk   www.wolterskluwer.co.uk

About Wolters Kluwer
Wolters Kluwer is a leading global information services and publishing company. The company provides products and services globally for professionals in the health, tax, accounting, corporate, financial services, legal and regulatory sectors. Wolters Kluwer has annual revenues (2008) of €3.37 billion, maintains operations in over 33 countries across Europe, North America and Asia Pacific and employs approximately 20,000 people worldwide. Wolters Kluwer is headquartered in the Netherlands. Visit  www.wolterskluwer.com for information about its market positions, customers, brands and organisation.  www.wolterskluwer.com