Why it’s a bad idea for accountants to give away the ATO App

Few would doubt that the profession is changing, globally. Over recent months I have been reflecting on the change in the accountancy profession in Australia. I have read scores of blog posts, LinkedIn articles, new stories and feedback from accountants. My team of market watchers have scoured books, reports, and the latest views from ‘thought leaders’ around the world.

Across the globe, accountancy firms have been giving away control of their client base to software companies. And the emotional bonds between business owners and software companies is intensifying. Only a very small step is needed to cut accountants out of the loop completely, especially for smaller businesses and simple tax return/statutory accounts work.

In Australia an additional, interesting and potentially threatening layer of change and separation is occurring with the introduction of the ATO App!

Australian accountants risk being disenfranchised

Mobile is where it’s at! If you have heard a presentation or webinar from a website agency recently they will almost certainly have quoted that mobile browsing has overtaken desktop and confirmed we are in the ‘post PC’ era – and that’s true! What they don’t usually explain (because it doesn’t sell websites) it that over 80% of mobile browsing time is actually spent ‘in App’ (And that’s something the software giants and ATO are keenly aware of!)

App use is booming! Everything is getting smaller and faster and few would disagree that’s where most of us go to get information or complete a transaction.

As a result, MyFirmsApp has taken the decision to ‘Put Accountants First’, encouraging them to engage with their clients and future clients by App in this new mobile world. We don’t want you to give away control of this powerful ecosystem to the big software firms or ATO. Instead, we want to help you take control of it, to own it and benefit from it. Whatever you do, don’t give it away – at any cost!

When we talk to accountancy firms about Apps, we can recognise the confusion immediately. They think they are providing a service to their clients by having the ATO App on their website, free to download. “Where’s the harm?” they ask. We explain how they are being cut out of the loop by the ATO and the software companies – and losing control of their biggest asset… their client base.

We explain that as an accounting or bookkeeping firm, they must ensure the ATO is not the dominant presence in their clients’ App world. This can be achieved by securing greater client service through their own, branded Accountants & Bookkeepers App. You can find out more for yourself in a free, 1:1 App demonstration – details here.

Launch your own Accountants & Bookkeepers App to distance the ATO from your clients

By putting accountants first, MyFirmsApp is helping professional firms maintain a strong client relationship by consolidating their client base through their own App. By incorporating integrated Cloud Accounting login portals in your App, you will make sure that your clients will see you as the main link between them, the principal software accounting companies and the ATO.

They will see your brand, your designs and your key messages every time they use your App. Building these portals within your App creates a more secure service and provides the opportunity for firms like yours to protect your clients and yourselves from third parties and software giants.

Better still, by bringing your systems together in one App and giving your clients a customised platform to interact with, MyFirmsApp creates a financial App solution you can show to clients, contacts and prospects as a brilliant way to maintain and win new business. When you register for your 1:1 App demonstration you will hear stories from firms you may know who have launched their own App using the My Firms App solution.

The App creates a connection between firm and client at all times, and provides an efficient outlet for interaction with their tax data, financial dates and a wide range of calculators.

You will soon understand that clients love to use the App to access all their financial systems and key data and this is a huge benefit to firms. The App can be continuously updated over time, but it is the attraction of having a key differentiator in the accountancy world allowing for unique client engagement that sets it apart. Another huge benefit is that you can use it to send ‘Push Notifications’ (messages and content) to your clients. These have proven to be a hugely successful communication channel for high client engagement, generating a 93% higher open rate than emails.

Financial data logging enabled through the App

For your clients and contacts, logging and monitoring their finances has never been easier, now it can be done directly through the App. They can photograph receipts and manage them effectively within different categories of the App tool before being uploaded to you. Receipts can be pre-analysed into in areas such as Advertising & Marketing, Property Costs, Electronics and Travel Expenses, as well as a special section for clients to store receipts that they wish to review with you.

The Income Tracker allows your clients to monitor income sources and expenditure in one place, allowing them to log, export and view in one place for efficient management of finances. The GPS Logbook is a unique tool meaning clients can log trips and track distance, perfect for storing details of mileage claims.

By putting accountants first, the MyFirmsApp App is proving to be a valuable, some would say an ‘essential’, tool for combatting the threats being posed by the ATO and others. By focusing your clients’ attention on your App and engaging with them through Push Notifications, tax updates and other useful data, you will strengthen your relationships and protect your client database.

To find out more simply register from your no obligation App test drive and discover how an App will benefit your firm – full details here.


Categories: Apps, Blog


Joel Oliver | joelo@myfirmsapp.com

Joel is the MD of MyFirmsApp and is no newcomer to technology or working with professional service companies. Joel owns Insight Marketing, SalesForAccountants and Insight Digital Media, with over 30 years’ experience working with Accountants, IFAs, Financial Planners, Law Firms and professional service companies.

He pioneered the App project back in 2012 as he could see the huge benefits of Apps for professional firms who wanted to care for existing clients and market profitably to potential new customers. With over 18 years experience in both online and offline marketing, Joel has developed, led and managed many highly successful businesses.

Joel has a hands-on role within the family of companies and enjoys meeting clients and helping them future-proof their businesses. As the App continues to expand in the UK and overseas. Joel continues to ensure the App product and its bolt-ons get better and better.

To find out more about Joel and his connections, see his LinkedIn Profile or email him on joelo@myfirmsapp.co.uk

Outside work:

Outside work you will often find Joel with his friends or family enjoying varied hobbies from salmon fishing to fine wine and sailing. Joel is also an assistant pastor at a local church and runs numerous youth groups.