New tax year: take stock of your tech stack

With the new tax year just around the corner, it’s the perfect time to review your tech stack. Whether it’s automating daily admin, onboarding new clients or managing communication with clients, choosing the right digital tools can set your practice up for a successful year. Here are five top tips to help you take stock of your tech stack. 

1. Evaluate the current situation

To kick things off, it helps to understand a few fundamentals. For example, what does the term ‘tech stack’ mean? It’s a set of digital tools you can use to build, run and grow your practice. 

Different accounting and bookkeeping practices will need different tech stacks depending on their individual needs, but they typically include three kinds of software: accounting software, practice management software, and business staples like Google Workspace or Microsoft Office 365.  

The next step is to consider the successes and challenges for your practice in the previous tax year. Ask yourself:

  • What problems did your practice encounter? 
  • What could you improve from the start of the new tax year? 

Evaluate whether your digital tools are solving these issues for you or whether you need to try something new. Once you understand the areas of friction in your processes and know what you’d like to achieve, you’ll be better prepared to tailor technology solutions to your practice. 

2. Focus on automating daily admin

One of the core components of a practice’s tech stack is accounting software, like FreeAgent. And one of the greatest benefits this offers is the ability to automate simple and repeatable jobs, helping you to reduce mistakes and cut down the time you spend on these tasks.

With FreeAgent, you can explain bank transactions in bulk, generate dividends automatically and run reports across your whole client base. You can also set up alerts to notify you that a client’s VAT return is due or that their Open Banking consent is about to expire.  

Accounting software can also increase your efficiency by enabling time-consuming tasks to be completed in bulk. In FreeAgent, you can run payroll for multiple clients in one click, for example, eliminating lots of tedious admin and giving you more time to spend on achieving your practice goals. 

3. Turbocharge your practice management 

Another common addition to a tech stack is accounting practice management software such as AccountancyManager or Senta, both of which can be integrated with FreeAgent. Solutions like these can help to break down projects into step-by-step tasks, so every member of your team has oversight of their responsibilities. 

This kind of software can be a great way to ensure team-wide efficiency and ownership. Even if you work solo in your practice, practice management software will help you plan your own time and divide your energy sensibly between different projects and clients. 

4. Empower your clients

Adding a payment solution like Tyl by NatWest or Stripe to the mix can help simplify card payments so your clients can get paid quicker. 

You may also consider data collection software like Dext, which enables you to automate data entry. And if your practice adopts FreeAgent, you can add the mobile app to your tech stack, which lets your clients snap photos of receipts and record their expenses on the go.

FreeAgent has automated onboarding processes for your clients, helping them to feel empowered to use the software. The more they can do themselves, the more time and energy you’ll have to redirect to the areas of your practice that you want to grow and improve upon.

5. Stay connected 

It’s also important to consider the software you’ll use for everyday communication. Depending on the size of your team, it may be beneficial to adopt messenger apps like Slack or Teams. This can help to minimise email clutter - if you have an inbox that’s full of internal chit-chat, it’s easier to miss an important email from a client. 

Email communication can also be a great way to retain or grow your client base. There are a host of solutions that can help you create one-off emails, campaigns and newsletters and track their performance.

Using social media can be a great way to market your practice at a low cost, so consider using platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn and X, if you’re not already. These can be used to get the word out about your own business and stay connected to the wider community of practices. Take a look at our social media tips for accountants and bookkeepers to find out more.

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