HLB is dedicated to keeping abreast of all technological advances for the benefit of our network. The HLB global community has been undertaking it’s own digital transformation journey and we have supported them by enabling resources, tools, and training, through various channels, driven from a central strategy. By undertaking this digitisation journey, our people have benefited from increased productivity and streamlined processes which has resulted in improved, client focused service offerings.
HLB firms have been innovative in digitalisation (transforming business activity with technology) as they accelerate their technological maturity to a high level. Some of the best practices that are key to the success of their digital transformation are:
Digital Leadership: Transformation efforts have been led by senior partners. For transformation to succeed there needs to be buy-in at all levels but change management must be driven and supported by leadership.
Digital strategy: As technology becomes critical for executing a firm’s strategy, IT and senior leaders must revisit fundamentals that organise technology work across the enterprise. The transition to digital requires careful planning and focus to align the strategic use of technology to mission outcomes.
Rethinking technology: Simplifying complexities and making efficient use of technologies such as cloud computing and AI is vital to build a future proof infrastructure.
At HLB our strategy around technology is a hybrid mix of developing tools and partnering with leading vendors to provide support to the network.
Where there are no leading solutions on the market, HLB develops solutions. HLB’s preferred option is based on the Microsoft technology stack, making use of the azure infrastructure and products to develop communication and collaboration solutions and scale to the enterprise. Tools such as Power-Platform help our data analytics and business Intelligence dashboards. Collaboration via OneDrive, Teams and SharePoint allows seamless and secure dissemination of knowledge in these streams. Development of solutions are for the purpose of enabling the HLB community to work digitally on cross border business.
HLB has developed and implemented solutions using Blockchain technologies to improve the transparency of its systems.
Our partner program allows HLB to partner with industry leading vendors to further enhance capabilities and offerings. The program has allowed members to accelerate digitisation in areas such as audit, tax and data analytics.
Centres of excellence
HLB has built centres of excellence in the network that can support our people with technology challenges in areas such as cybersecurity and Robotic Process Automation (RPA).
RPA in short is software, or ‘robots’, that automate routine and repeatable business tasks and processes. RPA has been a welcome addition to the accounting firm toolbox. The industry is ripe for automation as generally there are many repeatable manual elements that involve more than one system.
The types of processes that can be automated using RPA are:
- Payroll processing.
- Client onboarding, inc. Anti-Money Laundering and Letters of Engagement.
- Tax compliance, plus form / data submission to HMRC.
- Billing, invoice processing & reconciliations.
- Financial reporting, often building upon internal accounting software.
- Employee onboarding & offboarding.
The centres of excellence enable HLB to offer RPA initiatives and significantly drive down RPA implementation costs. Toolkits such as the “bot library” have been created for firms to start their automation journey, from simple task management to end to end process automation. Additionally, RPA is offered to clients as an advisory product and service by many firms.
This speaks to HLB’s mission. Helping our people with their continued digital transformation also aligns perfectly with HLB’s strategy of building a future-proof organisation of leading advisory professionals.
“A key driver of what we’re doing here at HLB is identifying and placing leading-edge technologies in the hands of our people around the globe. We know that through embracing technology we’ll continue to be empowered to deliver advisory services to our clients”
Chief Innovation Officer
Abu Bakkar, HLB Chief Innovations Officer
The lesson of 2020 was to accept change; 2021/22 taught us to embrace change and develop good practice. The use of technology enables firms of all sizes to not only stay in business, but to improve their services to create streamlined, client focused offerings, that engender trust and build loyalty in our people and customers. HLB technology leaders work very closely with our community worldwide to ensure that new and existing affinity partnerships allow us to build a better future for our firms and clients.