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What’s it like to work in a Modern Practice?

January 10 2017 by Paul Bulpitt

More and more accountants and bookkeepers are making the move from the traditional style accounting firms to modern, digital firms like The Wow Company. To get a better idea of why people are making the move and how they are finding it, we thought we’d speak to some of the Wow team who have made the change and see what they make of it.

From your experience, what are the main differences between working in a traditional firm and a modern firm?

Less paper and an increased focus on work that clients actually value (rather than just a compliance factory) were the most common points raised across the team. Hannah Rushbrook, Wow’s Head of Accounting, talked about the importance of the ‘team’.

“When I worked in a traditional firm it felt much more of a situation where you completed your own work, for your own benefit. People would help you, but only if you asked for it. Whereas at Wow, the company works brilliantly as a team and the focus is on how we can do things better together, not as an individual.”

Sarah Eble, Wow’s Tax Manager said that the best bit about working in a modern firm is that “you have more time to spend on client work because you are spending less time on the paperwork – no filing, scanning, printing. You are also not limited by geographical location.”

How did you find the transition to a modern firm?

The overall consensus was that the switch to a modern firm was easier than expected. Some cited the challenges of getting used to working without paper and learning new apps. Katie Payne, one of Wow’s Lead Advisors said that it was a bit of a culture shock at first.

“I had thought the place I previously worked was modern, but then I experienced a true modern practice! I was surprised by some of the automation of data entry from the bookkeeping point of view with Receipt Bank, but it makes so much sense and means that more time is spent on things that actually help the client, rather than mundane tasks.”

What advice would you give to someone moving to a modern firm?

The best advice the Wow team gave is to be open minded and open to new ideas. Dan Arhin, another Lead Adviser said “a modern firm has a faster pace, is agile and innovative. If you don’t like change or have the mindset of ‘but I never used to do it like this’ it won’t work. You will need to embrace change and love delighting clients.”

What impact do you think the move to a digital firm has/will have on career progression and employability?

With the rise of the modern firm and traditional accounting firms becoming less viable, the opportunity to work in a modern firm is a big plus in terms of employability and career progression.

“Working at Wow has had a great impact on my career progression, I have learnt a lot about new software and processes to help make our lives and client lives easier. This is something that would not necessarily be thought about in a more traditional firm. Being able to use this knowledge in any other job would be a great tool.”Frankie Sandelands, Head of Bookkeeping at Wow.

And then we asked Frankie the million dollar question: Would you go back?

“I don’t think I could go back to a traditional firm now!”

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