Business News

Crowe Horwath examining cloud-based engagement

Chartered accounting firm Crowe Horwath is in the process of assessing the viability of greater reliance on automation to communicate with and service its SMSF clients.

The initiative is part of the organisation’s effort to better coordinate its SMSF service delivery across the Crowe Horwath network.

“We are looking at our automation and use of technology in terms of the information we can get downloaded with a view to eventually look at the cloud as a delivery mechanism,” Crowe Horwath superannuation and SMSF principal Kathy Evans told selfmanagedsuper.

The examination of the new direction involves trying to determine how existing clients will react to the move and Evans said she was expecting mixed feedback.

“We’ve had phone calls from clients about introducing more automation where they have been genuinely excited about the fact they’ll be able to get up-to-date information simply by logging on to the Internet,” she said.

“But other people have told me they’re happy to see me once a year to get what they want, so it’s hard to put everyone in one box.

“It would scare some people and excite others, but that would be no different from any other area we’re looking at. Cloud accounting in the business world would be more acceptable because you’re generally dealing with a younger group of people.”

She said the increased institutional ownership of SMSF service providers had been positive for Crowe Horwath as it had provided the catalyst to look internally at the firm’s existing operations.

“It’s forced us to sit back and say we need to get with the game and keep up with the market on this,” she said.

But while the market developments had given cause for the aforementioned review, she said the nature of the firm’s client relationships meant the increased institutional ownership in the sector was not viewed as a threat to the business.

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