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Firms are recognising that staff wellbeing can be heavily influenced by the quality of the software that they are interacting with every day. Usability, as well as functionality and integration, are key considerations when choosing technology.

Staff wellbeing

A remarkable 75% of interviewees from our 2023 research said that improving staff retention and wellbeing would be one of the factors encouraging the increased use of specialised software.

To put this into context, this ranked higher than the common theme of software integration, already cited as a key issue in the current technology stack.

An increased focus on staff wellbeing in the decision-making process for tech adoption is a significant change from previous narratives about prioritising the needs of clients above all else. This may be motivated by the very challenging recruitment market and skills shortage in the profession, and the need for firms to ensure staff are fulfilled, rather than frustrated, by the work they do. 

Other features that ranked highly, such as the availability of mobile apps and the improvement of digital skills among staff, reinforce this point, and emphasise the need for firms and the profession to ‘think digitally’. It is here where software vendors, ICAEW and leaders in the profession have a role to play, to guide and encourage greater adoption, as well as educate firms and individuals to develop the technology skills and awareness so clearly needed.

Usability, functionality, integration

Besides the internal user experience, when considering which specialised software features were most useful to their practice, useability, functionality, integration and efficiency (to which automation is closely related) were among other reasons provided. Ultimately, firms are looking for ways to free up time, help staff focus on doing the job they have been employed to do, and make that as engaging as possible.

It is also interesting that reporting and analysis feature highly too. This is increasingly being seen as an admin burden for client-facing staff. Software that provides the information and reporting that staff (as well as clients and regulators) need at their fingertips is becoming increasingly important. 


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Further resources

Finance in a Digital World - support for ICAEW members and students on digital transformation and technology
Finance in a Digital World

ICAEW has worked with Deloitte to develop Finance in a Digital World, a suite of online learning modules to support ICAEW members and students, develop awareness and build understanding of digital technologies and their impact on finance.

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