The growth of cannabis-based companies in North America has been rapid, driven primarily by recent legal changes and the increasing awareness of the medicinal benefits the once criminalised herb possesses. But for one such company, it appears someone has been getting high on their own supply. Canada-based Canopy Growth, the world’s biggest producer of cannabis, recently saw it’s numbers go up in smoke after a spread sheet error led to a discrepancy in it’s reported losses. Initially, the company filed losses of CA$ 52m (£39.6m) later having to admit that the actual figure was CA$ 155m (£88.5m). They blamed a formula error in their spreadsheets for causing the inaccuracy. What can we learn from this? Aside form the fact that you should double-check your sums before submitting a return, is that using spreadsheets is most definitely old hat. There’s a plethora of software available that has been specifically designed to help reduce errors and make reporting simpler. You’ll hear a lot of practices describe themselves as cloud-based. But the truth is, this term has been around for many years now. And, in itself, isn’t enough anymore. Accountancy firms must be more innovative. The introduction of making tax digital has seen most firms make the move to cloud-based services. But not fully endorse it. For many, it is simply a tool to make them compliant and they are not fully embracing the opportunities it offers. These include chat bots to help clients and potential clients that land on their website homepage and apps like Slack, Xero or Basecamp to improve collaboration, both internally and externally. It’s all about placing digital services at the centre of everything a practice does. There are a few things holding accountancy firms back. Some clients simply resist the change; they’re technology averse and the thought of moving their book keeping in to the digital sphere strikes fear to their very core. Whilst this has been slightly alleviated by the vast work that has been done in cloud-based book keeping, its compliance and practice counterparts have been left behind. GDPR laws have also hindered practices migrating to the cloud with question marks of the legality of holding client details in storage software such as DropBox. At Finnies, we’re always striving to stay ahead of the curve. Whilst the work to this end is never complete, we’re confident we offer our clients a progressive solution that will suit all needs. And our team of professionals is ready to guide even the biggest technophobes through the transition.