Two thirds (68 percent) of UK-based accountancy firms are planning to make greater use of digital technologies this year, according to new research published today by Beaming, the business internet service provider.

● Two thirds of accounting practices to boost spending on cloud computing
● More than half of firms to invest more on cyber security after two thirds fall victim
● One in seven practices plan to appoint digital strategists to lead transformation efforts

Beaming’s research, which was undertaken by the consultancy Opinium and detailed in its Digital Transformation in Accounting report, reveals that cloud computing tops the digital transformation agenda in 2018, with 62 percent of accountancy firms planning to invest in remote server estates. Private clouds, where the IT infrastructure is owned by the firm and hosted in its own dedicated data centre, is the preferred option for accountancy practices planning to make greater use of cloud technologies.

More than half (56 percent) of accounting firms questioned by Beaming’s researchers plan to invest more in cyber security during 2018. Two thirds (62 percent) of accountancy practices revealed that they had fallen victim to some form of cybercrime in 2017, with the total cost to the sector of recovering from incidents estimated to be £341 million. Data breaches and malware were the most commonly cited threats, affecting 34 percent and 18 percent of those questioned respectively.

Beaming’s report also revealed that more than half (54 percent) intend investing in connectivity during 2018, with a third (32 percent) planning to adopt fibre Ethernet services to improve the speed and resilience of their online systems.

Accounting Tech Investment

Accounting practices plan to appoint digital specialists

The drive towards digital transformation in the accounting sector is impacting accountancy firms’ recruitment plans. More than a third (40 percent) intend to recruit software developers and other technologists to support their practices during 2018, while one in seven (14 percent) plan to appoint digital strategists to lead change in their organisations.

Sonia Blizzard, managing director of Beaming, comments: “The majority of accounting firms recognise their businesses and IT environments need to be smarter and more adaptive. They are moving with the times and investing in new technologies at a much faster rate than the general business population, prioritising spend on areas such as cloud computing and enhancing levels of cyber security and internet service resilience to meet new demands.”

Read the full Digital Transformation in Accounting report here.