Sheffield-based accountancy and advisory firm Hentons is launching a new digital division to help small businesses benefit from new technology.

The new operation will help companies and contractors access cloud-based services like Xero and get the most from the accounting services they offer. The firm is boosting its own digital capabilities to develop a new insight tool and bespoke reports that help clients operate more effectively.

Hentons has hired Anthony Hamilton as cloud accounting and business intelligence manager to lead a growing team of developers and data analysts. He will develop a range of insight tools that will be rolled out in the coming months. He will also work with companies to develop bespoke reports and dashboards.

Anthony, an experienced accountant, has also held management roles in technology companies and has developed technology to support small businesses.

Commenting on the move, Tim Baum-Dixon, head of digital said: “Digital technology is increasingly helping businesses of all sizes manage their accounting requirements. It allows their accountancy and advisory partners to focus on adding more value through strategic business and tax advice.

“Making tax digital is forcing businesses to look at their accounting systems and this is a great opportunity for them to use cloud accounting software which can significantly improve the efficiency of the business processes and give more useful information but can be daunting for the uninitiated. Hentons is here to help navigate the maze and add value to the process by generating actionable insights.”

Making Tax Digital is a government scheme that requires online tax filing and payment, as well as digital record keeping and all business taxes will be part of the scheme. Making Tax Digital for VAT started on 1 April 2019.

Hentons supports the development of its clients’ businesses with a partner-led and multi-disciplinary range of skills and consultancy services. Clients benefit from a sector-led approach that ensures fresh thinking and constructive challenges with a practical understanding of the issues they face.