‘For accountants, it’s a jungle to find their way through all those tools,’ says Dieter Bonte, CCO at Decupere & Partners. ‘And once they think they’ve found the right toolbox, another challenge arises. Because no matter how interesting some of these new fintechs are, they remain a risk in terms of reliability and continuity. Will their services still be available in a few years? Is their attractive price tag sustainable, or is there a risk that the fintechs will run out of money and suddenly double their prices? Will there always be close support in an understandable language and from a familiar face; or is it from a call centre in the US, Malta or India?’
To move up a gear with its digitalization, Decupere & Partners decided to partner with Isabel Group a few years ago. ‘We wanted a robust partner who is professionally organized, has a large sales market and can continue to offer its services at an affordable price. In this way, we too can continue to guarantee continuity and affordable prices to our 3,000 customers. That is why the choice for a partnership with Isabel Group was logical for us,” continues Dieter Bonte.
Less manual work
A few years ago, Decupere & Partners started implementing various services from CodaBox. CodaBox makes it possible to convert invoices, account statements, credit card statements and payroll documents into usable data and to deliver them automatically to the software of your choice. This not only saves a lot of manual work and time for accountants and bookkeepers, but also for their customers.
Decupere & Partners also implemented a second solution from Isabel Group: ClearFacts. That platform enables better and smarter collaboration between accountants and their customers. Thanks to machine recognition of data, automatic booking proposals, digital reading of documents, etc., a lot of manual work is eliminated for both the accountant and the customer. Once the data has been processed at the accounting office, the customer has an immediate view of his or her figures via the portal.
‘It requires some evangelizing for accountancy firms’
Although most accountancy firms today are already convinced of the benefits of digitization, not all of their customers are. A big challenge is to get the SMEs to take the bath. It takes some evangelizing for accountancy firms as well,’ experiences Dieter Bonte. But once customers have made the switch, they immediately see the advantages and don’t want to go back. Every customer who takes the step is also a win for us, of course. With ClearFacts, customers simply upload their own documents in the meantime, allowing us to process them daily and smooth out the traditional work peaks at the end and beginning of each quarter.’
At Decupere & Partners, the initial focus was on getting medium-sized companies on board with the digital journey. This year alone, the accounting firm has helped 500 larger companies to embrace the ClearFacts platform. Smaller companies are generally more hesitant.