There is a growing market for accounting practices in Kenya. Economic growth has improved significantly in the past decade, internet adoption is increasing (39%) and the country scored highly in innovation and financial services in the World Economic Forum’s 2015 Global Competitiveness Report.
Because more businesses are starting up, there is an increased demand for accounting services and an opportunity for accountants to start their own businesses.
However, while an accounting practice can offer the benefits of being self-employed, such as a better work/life balance and growing earning power, there are drawbacks.
Many accountants have a keen grasp on finance, but lack specialist experience in areas such as information technology, marketing and human resource management. “When you’re in a business on your own, you can quickly run into a range of operational challenges. From a computer hard drive that fails during tax filing season, client’s that haven’t paid for services, to changing deadlines and the constant need to seek new business – it’s not always easy to keep your head above water,” says Nikki Summers, director of Sage One in East and West Africa.
To succeed, owners of accounting practices need to be able to operate in an environment of changing technology, increasingly demanding customers, and growing economic pressure. Thankfully, there are simple tools to help these Small & Medium Business owners.
“For example, Practice Management Software provides accounting professionals with all the core features they need to run their businesses in an easy-to-use and affordable way” adds Summers. “If the practice management software can be integrated into the accounting software, and be used to run clients’ accounts, then that is even better”. The software should offer project tracking and timesheets, invoicing and debtor management, management reporting, security and customer relationship management.
“With software moving to the cloud, accountants can access their clients’ and their practice’s books on any device, from anywhere using the internet,” says Summers. “You also don’t even need to worry about installing software on your PCs or backing up your data, because you can access the data and the application from nearly every modern Web browser or from a mobile app,” she says.
“You and your clients can be logged in at the same time processing transactions – and you’ll always know you’ll have access to the latest live data from your clients’ accounts. Moving to the cloud is an opportunity to get closer to your clients’ businesses and transform your own working practices and succeed in Kenya’s competitive economy,” concludes Summers.