What impact does new software have on staff costs?

The increased use of accounting and tax software has had an unexpected impact on at least one accountancy firm. And I suspect there are others in the same position.

The firm had assumed that they would reduce staff costs through increased use of junior staff.  The partners anticipated that using more sophisticated tax software would allow them to reduce salary costs as it would require less able and qualified staff than previously. In practice the firm has less need of unskilled staff. The software itself takes the drudgery out of the work and enables staff to focus more on value added and advisory services for clients.

Staff numbers are down – as one might expect. But staff costs are up as the firm is able to make better use of more qualified staff.

What’s been your experience?

By |2010-06-04T09:39:59+00:00June 4th, 2010|Accountants, Productivity|

About the Author:

Mark Lee FCA is an accountancy focused futurist, influencer, speaker, mentor, author and debunker.


  1. Charles Verrier 8th June 2010 at 6:14 pm - Reply

    How odd – the history of technical innovation in the profession has ALWAYS been about cutting the costs of unskilled work to focus on the high value stuff.

    Ever rising audit/disclosure thresholds, and simpler software tools for practice (and taxpayers) all show a clear direction – that firms cannot make money just doing the old ‘sausage machine’ compliance work.

    CCH are working on software to auto-scan paper documents like divi vouchers, etc, and enter the figures into their tax software – even the data-entry work will be gone soon!

  2. Accounting Jobs Michigan CFO 9th June 2010 at 12:43 pm - Reply

    unskilled staff gets fired!

  3. Geoff 9th June 2010 at 12:59 pm - Reply

    that is my experience too and also means that I don’t have to spend as much of my own time and that of more senior clerks constantly helping junior staff to understand how to carry out many tasks

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