As technology tightens its grip on the traditional accounting world, one company is diversifying into ways its trained professionals can offer more than an automated service.
In a world of automation, artificial intelligence and bookkeeping apps, is time up for traditional accountants?
SKS Founder, Sanjay Swarup would say yes – which is why he has built his company around adding value that smart machines cannot provide.
“There is no doubt that technology is transforming the world of accounting,” says Mr Swarup. “As a result, our approach is to offer the best of technology with a human touch – value-added business advice. Clients receive a more responsive finance function at better value. Fees can be 30 per cent less than a normal accounting firm and more for an outsource finance function. But it’s not just about the cost; it is about the higher service level.”
Mr Swarup is a chartered accountant, holds an MBA from Cranfield, and was inspired by his seven years at BP to develop an onshore/offshore service delivery model for UK SMEs and mid-sized companies. Large corporates have developed back-office functions in low-cost cities and countries, but this had not been an option for Mr Swarup’s target market of SMEs and mid-sized corporations.
SKS Business Services, based in Richmond, Surrey, is grouped with other accounting firms from the South of England. The firms that form the SKS group include Avalon Accounting (Reading) Ledger Sparks (South London), Ward Mackenzie (Kent), Gilroy & Brookes (Surrey) and Benedict Mackenzie (Insolvency) who operate UK-wide.
With the advancement in technology and high-speed internet, higher quality services with senior UK-based accountants can be provided more cost-effectively. So, by having a hybrid delivery model of India and UK, combined with state-of-the-art technology use, SKS is able to deliver highly valuable and cost-effective business advice.
“Too many accountants want to make their advice about the bottom line or small tax savings, but a sustainable business might be about more than that,” says Mr Swarup. “Our aim is to make business analysis and business advice a tool for leaders to use to make easier, clearer business decisions. This can also include, for example, modelling/budgeting and fundraising – with all of which the SKS Group can help.”