I’m Jack Mansfield, head of digital take-up at Companies House. I spend a lot of my time working to promote the benefits of filing online. This blog highlights some of the work we've done recently to boost our digital services to accountants.
Our research with accounting and legal professionals shows that there’s a resistance to change from paper filing to digital. Changing processes that have been in place for many years, which are not regarded as core business, is generally seen as low priority and difficult to justify on cost grounds.
We want to point accountancy firms towards the benefits of filing digitally with us and to ease concerns. We didn’t, however, want them to take our word for it, so we spoke with accountants who’ve already made the switch.
We recorded a series of video interviews with accountants from around the UK, which will be used to reach accountants via various online channels to encourage them to adopt digital filing.
Choice of candidates
We want all UK filers of accounts, across all accountancy firms large and small, multinationals, individual companies and groups to file online.
With this in mind, we spoke to:
- Thomson Reuters, a multinational corporation
- Crowe Clark Whitehill, a top ten national firm
- Flex Accounting Services Ltd, a small firm of accountants and bookkeepers
- Moore Scarrott, a medium accountancy organisation
- Henderson Loggie, a national Scottish firm
We also interviewed the major legal firm Addleshaw Goddard about digital filing of mortgage forms.
I was very keen to be involved in the recording process and attended a number of the sessions to see at first-hand what our customers thought. Senior representatives responsible for filing with us from each organisation were interviewed. We asked them open questions, which invited the interviewees to make comments about their experience with filing online here at Companies House.
We found that there was unprompted universal support for digital filing, and a collective dislike for paper filing.
I reviewed all of the videos produced and even made some suggestions which were taken on board. The final videos were produced with overlaid text highlighting important parts of the conversations and identifying the key benefits. Now accountants can see and hear from industry professionals why making the switch is a good idea.
A selection of the videos
All of the videos are available on our YouTube channel and we're busy promoting them through articles on our site and for AccountingWEB. We’re also using them in a series of messages on social media, that target people with specific accountancy interests. Other mediums we're using include webinars and, of course, this blog.
We’ve already reached the point where 75% of all accounts are filed digitally and we’re monitoring this to see how this improves following our campaign.