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Tax & Accounting16 June, 2020

William Duncan Accountants

William Duncan Accountants recommends Twinfield as heavyweight online accounting software

William Duncan Accountants is one of the top independent accountancy firms in Scotland, with offices in Ayr, Kilmarnock, Glasgow and Argyll covering Ayrshire, the West of Scotland and beyond. The firm marked its centenary last year. Today over 70 managerial, executive, administrative and IT staff provide accountancy and taxation services. William Duncan Accountants has used the full suite of CCH Central software from Wolters Kluwer for nearly twenty years.

Helping clients to benefit from the cloud

Innovative and forward-thinking, William Duncan Accountants is digitally focused and encourages clients to adopt cloud technology on a software-as-a-service (SaaS) model to revolutionise the way they operate their business.

Crawford Millar has run the IT division of the William Duncan Group since 1999. He is an enthusiastic champion of cloud-based bookkeeping and accounting: “Not surprisingly, it’s become the norm. Business owners and managers have all the benefits of access to their financial data from any location at any time, with robust back-up and enhanced disaster recovery.”

However, he has found that many cloud-based bookkeeping packages have their limitations: “They are aimed at the small business market and have a top limit of around 2,000 transactions a month. They start to creak once you go above that. System performance degrades and the end user experience suffers.”

A serious solution

Where does this leave medium to large entities that are beyond the scope of smaller packages?

For the past two years, William Duncan Accountants has offered its larger clients Twinfield online accounting software from Wolters Kluwer. Twinfield is multi-language, multi-company and multi-currency as standard, with no limit on the number of transactions. It gives company finance managers and bookkeeping teams everything they need, from invoicing to management accounting. Moreover it’s scalable and can grow with the client’s business, making it ideal for mid-range companies ambitious for further growth.

Crawford says, “Twinfield is designed with a completely different architecture from lower-end packages. It’s a workhorse that loves transactions. It goes beyond 100,000 transactions a month without batting an eyelid. When you consider that one of Scotland’s largest utilities uses Twinfield, it gives some idea of its power as a robust, scalable platform.”

There are advantages for accountants in suggesting clients take a look at Twinfield. It enables firms to offer online accounting software to the mid-market, without the prohibitive expense of larger enterprise solutions.

Furthermore, as a cloud solution, Twinfield enables accountants to work remotely, logging in and accessing the client’s live data from any device and from any location. Crawford notes, “If the office is inaccessible for whatever reason, you can stay open for business as usual. This is because Twinfield lives in the cloud, rather than on an ageing server in the back office. It delivers the ultimate in high availability, making it the perfect business continuity solution.”

The client experience

With support from Wolters Kluwer, Crawford and his team are helping client companies in different sectors to adopt Twinfield and integrate other business systems, including payroll, booking systems and ePos software. As a result, clients can gain a holistic picture of their business financials in just a few minutes and equip their management teams with real-time data from every corner of their business. This, in turn, supports better informed decision-making.

Clients often use Basecone receipt scanner app software as an add-on to Twinfield. This scans in documents such as invoices and receipts, captured on a mobile phone, for auto-processing and approvals.

Accounts teams can use both products just as effectively from homes as in the office, once again, improving business continuity. Accountant-client collaboration also benefits from both parties having equal access to the same data, as Crawford observes, “When on phone calls with clients, the team here log in securely to the client’s Twinfield system and view the same live numbers. Client and accountant are looking at the same screen and can have a meaningful conversation based on accurate, up-to-date financial data.” Support from Wolters Kluwer Crawford values the relationship with Wolters Kluwer and the support provided in helping clients to adopt Twinfield and move to a cloud computing model: “We have a very close partnership with Wolters Kluwer and work together on many projects. They’re always very helpful.”

He calls on Wolters Kluwer if the client has legacy business software or third-party systems that need to integrate with Twinfield: “An agile team of Twinfield consultants and developers will undertake bespoke API (application programming interface) jobs to integrate these systems with Twinfield at an affordable cost – not something you get with many developers! This adds great value to the client’s business.”

Key benefits for William Duncan Accountants and clients

  • Powerful online accounting software to meet the demands of larger enterprises
  • Integration with third-party and legacy systems to present a holistic financial picture
  • Working in the cloud improves accountant-client collaboration and business continuity
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