Filing taxes is a core duty for accountants. It must be done correctly, compliantly, and efficiently – and if it isn’t, the accountant and their firm could face serious headaches down the line. It’s therefore not surprising that, according to Xero’s recent research, 56% of accountants are using tax administration software to help manage eFiling returns.
What is eFiling?
SARS eFiling has been around for years. It was designed so that all taxpayers (individuals and businesses) could register with SARS, submit returns and declarations, and make payments free of charge. eFilers are also given more time to make submissions and payment, than those submitting taxes manually.
eFiling has helped many accountants and business professionals file their taxes with ease and efficiency. And due to the adoption of eFiling, there have been many new tax administration programs that have been developed to make the job of tax filing even more simple.
Tax administration software
So, why are some accountants still reluctant to use these technologies in the process of filing their taxes and what can be done to encourage it?
Aside from tax administration software, our research found that accountants aren’t embracing other areas of technology, including cloud software and electronic signature tools. A large proportion of respondents – 68% – indicated that they use more traditional desktop software like Outlook or Thunderbird to manage jobs, deadlines and responsibilities.
Clearly, there is still a divide in terms of digital transformation in South Africa’s accounting industry. The technology to help accountants work smarter is widely available, affordable and easy to implement and yet they aren’t taking advantage of it. That said, 75% are considering migrating to the cloud – so things are moving in the right direction, however slowly.
Now is as good a time as any for accountancy firms to embrace the technology that will make their jobs easier. Technology will never replace accountants – but it can enable them to upsell more services to their clients and grow their businesses.
To view the full findings of the report, click here.