From recruitment to reconciliation – The impact of digitalisation

While the digitalisation and automation of many tasks comes as a welcome relief for many business owners, some are faced with a daunting task of preparing for and implementing change.

SME owners need to be ready for change. Not just small change, like the five pence pieces in your pocket. Big changes are coming, like the complete renovation of business finances and taxation. While some organisations are prepared for the change, many, like Midlands-based HR consultancy, Evergreen HR, found themselves confronted with a daunting task.

The government announced in 2015 that by 2020 most businesses will be required to keep track and update HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) of their tax affairs digitally.

Evergreen HR, owned and managed by HR consultant, Sue Green, provides outsourced people management solutions across the UK, as well as recruitment, staff retention and performance management support. Additionally, Green has also designed HR software, HR Pulse, for the small business market based on four years of research on what small business owners are looking for in a HR provider.

‘When I originally set up Evergreen I worked solely from spreadsheets for all my financial management,’ Green says.

‘However, with the digitalisation of the HMRC tax system looming, I knew it couldn’t last forever.’

As explained by Jim Harra, director general for customer strategy and tax design at HMRC, ‘By 2020 most small businesses will be using apps and software to keep [their] business records and report information to HMRC… bringing the tax system into the digital age.’

This is where Tally, a specialist online provider of accountancy services and accounting software entered the frame. ‘I knew that I needed to consider easy to use digital finance software that would work for me,’ Green continues.

‘I was already providing Tally’s parent company with HR support and guidance, and they suggested I look into what the service and software could offer me as a mathphobic, digitalisation novice.’

‘Sue came to us, as many of our clients do, working on input based spreadsheets and spending days at the end of every month reconciling her accounts,’ says Richard Stonier, co-founder and partner at Tally Accounts.

‘Her time was being unnecessarily taken up dealing with expenses and invoices and not being spent with her customers. With the implementation of the digital tax system, we understand it’s vital for business owners to take control of their finances online, sooner rather than later.’

‘Tally works effortlessly behind the scenes,’ Green comments.

‘It captures all the information without me having to input lots of data. From reconciling my accounts against my monthly payments, to setting up new clients and generating their monthly invoices for me. Tally has saved me so much time, and so many head-aches ­— it has essentially become my virtual assistant.

‘For someone who isn’t confident at maths, focusing on my financial management was never going to be a priority for me and my business,’ Green continues.

‘However, Tally really has made the management of my finances so simple and allows me to monitor cashflow, a vital success factor for any business, at the touch of a button.’

According to Martin Campbell, managing director of Ormsby Street, a small business research organisation, ‘a small business can fail for many reasons of course, but poor cash flow remains one of the main causes of problems. Research shows that four in ten small companies don’t make it five years.’

‘The package options that Tally offers is ideal for an organisation like Evergreen,’ Stonier says.

‘We’ve developed the software to be fully integrated with the new HMRC digital tax guidelines as well as supporting small business owners with the tools that they need to keep their finances in line and manageable for future success.’

‘As a small business owner, you look for cost effective, quick solutions to the obstacles you face,’ Green adds.

‘Tally has created more time for me to support my customers. The amount of automated work it does for me is fantastic. Tally is the best way for a modern business to transition to a modern way of working.

‘Tally is capable of integrating with a range of digital apps and software, which support expense reconciliation, automated payment requests and invoices and comprehensive cashflow management. We help you look after the small change and deal with the big changes.’

Further reading on recruitment

Owen Gough, SmallBusiness UK

Freddie Halvorson

Owen was a reporter for Bonhill Group plc writing across the and titles before moving on to be a Digital Technology reporter for the

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Digital Transformation

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