In a recent straw poll conducted on the My Business site, readers were asked the question: “Do you allow your accountant or bookkeeper to access your accounting software?”
Unsurprisingly, the vast majority (78.9 per cent) said yes, and a further 3.3 per cent admitted they are planning to do so.
However, nearly one in six respondents (15.6) said they do not allow these service providers access to their accounting software.
Even more troubling, a further 2.2 per cent said they previously allowed such access, but have since cut it off.
The poll did not explore the reasons behind their decision, or what prompted business leaders to change their mind.
“Allowing your accountant real-time access to your financial software means they are better placed than ever to help your business in an increasingly competitive and rapidly changing environment,” says Paul Drum, head of policy at accounting body CPA Australia.
“It allows them to be pre-emptive in the provision of business advice – to address issues and identify opportunities as they emerge, rather than only coming to an issue once it has become a problem and regretting missed opportunities.”
Mr Drum adds: “Members have told us that having this type of access enables them to focus more on providing services that add value to their business clients, rather than simply assisting with BAS or tax return preparation and lodgement.”