TiPS

Helping Law and Accounting Firms Take Digital Technology to the Next Level

We are recruiting firms to receive free training and support to adopt key technologies such as Microsoft 365 Power Automate. Apply now – deadline 6th September 2024.

Apply Here

Technology in Professional Services (TiPS) helps UK-based mid-tier and smaller accounting and law firms to innovate using digital technology, and generates new insights into adoption, for the professional services sector as a whole.

Who is TiPS for?

TiPS is for firms with various levels of digital adoption experience, but especially those who are considering technology adoption, but are unsure about which technology to use, how to use it, and whether it will be of benefit.

Get Involved

What does TiPS involve?

The core TiPS activity is to directly support firms in adopting technology. This is being accomplished by providing various forms of training and support, tailored to the level of readiness and ambition of individual firms. Firms may also become part of the TiPS community and participate in other events and activities. These events and activities help us to achieve the wider objective of understanding the opportunities and challenges of technology adoption in professional services, and helping accelerate it across the sector as a whole.

Firms can apply to participate in free training and support related to Microsoft 365 applications, complete a contact form so as to be kept informed of activities and events, or write to us to explore other possible ways of collaborating.

TiPS Foundational Accelerator: Training based on Microsoft 365 technology

The aim is to help firms exploit the technology they already have, or can easily access – MS 365 tools such as Power Automate and Power BI – to enhance service delivery. This path is for firms with relatively little experience of using advanced digital technology in delivering their services. TiPS will fund online training in multi-firm groups, and provide structured support in identifying a feasible pilot application and seeing it through to a conclusion. The objective is to achieve a successful application of a relevant technology in a particular practice area or process, within a few months. The programme consists of:

Definition

It will begin with a discussion with one of the TiPS team concerning the intended project. This discussion will be a follow-up from the details provided in the application process.

Training

Delivery will begin with up to two days’ online training in the relevant technology. This will be in a small group involving participants from more than one firm. The exact content of the training will depend on the initial level of expertise of the participants in the particular group, and the nature of their intended applications.

Adoption Project

Participants will then work on their application projects in their firms, involving colleagues as necessary. There will be an opportunity to ask questions of the training provider in support of the adoption. TiPS will also facilitate peer-to-peer interaction among group members.

Demo-Day

The acceleration will culminate in a group ‘Demo-Day’ event, when each firm will show what they have achieved, and reflect on their experiences. By agreement with participating firms, we will document innovation case studies for TiPS funders, and publicise the project to professional bodies and other firms in the sector to encourage them to get involved. Any participating firm will be invited to approve any publicity using the firm’s name.

Follow Up

As part of the research element of the work, TiPS researchers will collect data from participants at various stages of the project. This could involve completing one or more questionnaires or being interviewed by a TiPS researcher, for example. We will also follow up with participating firms after the initial adoption, to find out how the innovation process continues within their firms.

Other models of Acceleration
Proof-of-Concept Acceleration

Proof-of-Concept acceleration is for firms with some experience of digital innovation and typically supports the adoption of industry-specific technology. It began in April 2024 and runs until early 2025. It is delivered partly in-person, partly online, and with a cohort of participants from eight selected firms in both law and accountancy.

Modelled on start-up accelerators, this model of adoption acceleration provides a package of support, including initial diagnostic advice, masterclasses, mentoring, peer-group learning activities, and funding to help kick-start technology adoption. Participants pursue projects in their own firms, but come together – in person and online – as a cohort, approximately every month.

Strategic Acceleration

Strategic acceleration is for firms with extensive digital innovation experience and allows them to extend and develop their digital adoption at firm-wide or advanced level. Three selected firms are being supported in this way, and it involves bespoke funding and advisory support, complemented by masterclasses from leading academics in the field, and cohort-based events. This too will run until early 2025.

Commitment from Participating Firms

In all three acceleration models, participating firms commit time – to allow staff to participate in training and other activities and events, and to work on application projects in their firms. Firms may also commit additional resources: for example, firms may pay for software licences themselves, and use TiPS support to provide specialised advisory services.

Firms also commit to participating in the research aspect of the TiPS programme. This includes allowing TiPS researchers to monitor and discuss with them the progress of adoption projects and other activities, and agreeing, for example, to complete surveys and participate in interviews. All research participation is covered by university research ethics procedures to ensure informed consent to participate, and to protect individual and commercial confidentiality.

Get Involved

TiPS Partners