5 Trends Accountants Can’t Afford to Ignore by Nishant Kadian
Like any other industry, accounting also experiences regular changes with the methods and practices that are adopted. Such changes are often aimed to achieve more efficiency, profits, and comfort for professionals involved. Looking back from paper-era to dedicated business accounting software, there have been several trends that surfaced. Some of them still pertain, while others perished. Accountants, who adapt to the right trends, are likely to achieve more than others. To help you with that following are trends that you should not ignore, in the current accounting scenario:
1. Focused Client Service
Customer retention in accounting firms is not among the best compared to other industries. According to CCH Accounting Firm Client Survey published in 2010, 19% individual clients and 36% business clients plan switch their CPA firm in the coming year. Given that clients count their accounting information as extremely private and they pick their CPA after quite an effort, these figures seem very horrible. To improve the situation, accountants have started improving their focus on the client.
The trend is witnessing a major makeover as accountants have started taking care of the clients in a more amicable way. They give in efforts at understanding the business in a closer way. This allows the accountant to deliver better results for the client and improves the customer retention rate significantly. The same study also indicates that most clients consider their CPA as a reliable advisor for strategizing their financial plans. To live up to those expectations and deliver a better customer satisfaction, a dedicated customer service plan can be implemented.
2. Upscaling to the Cloud Altitude
Cloud computing can expand your services all over the globe even when you do not have a dedicated workstation to work from. That statement is not an exaggeration, which explains that benefits of the cloud are immense. To avail these benefits, increasing number of accounting professionals are switching to the cloud solutions. Can you think of any progressive accounting software that does not have a cloud-based version? Even if there is any, there are many reliable application hosting providers to avail it on the cloud.
Accounting went digital decades back and now all that digital accounting is moving towards the cloud. Virtual backend office and BYOD are very familiar terms in the accounting market. Now Virtual CFO is another practice that has been surfacing among businesses. All this summarize that cloud is the new workstation for accountants and in case you have not adopted it already, you need to rush ASAP.
3. Strategized Social Media
Debate on social media is boon or bane does not seem to be ending, but one thing is clear – social media is a great business assistance. The condition applies to it is that a thoughtful strategy is in action. Almost all your existing and potential clients are using one social network or other and what matters is how to reach them to convert social media activities into a profit maker. Most accountants already know about it but they are ‘merely existing’ there.
Social media has ample opportunities for accountants to – connect with the customers, find new customers, build an influential reputation, and develop a network with other accounting professionals. Realizing these opportunities, most accountants (specifically, accounting firms) have nabbed the fine tricks. This is the high time, you consulted a social media expert to lay out your growth plan as well.
4. Spending on Data
There has been an abrupt growth in the data control and analysis tools in the recent times. As accounting data holds a critical importance, these tools have a great deal to offer for accountants as well. On the crust, accountants can spend on data for two reasons – analysis and security.
Exploring and analyzing the big data available with the accountant can help in identifying the expenses and saving areas for clients more deeply. At the accountant’s end, you can understand your client-base, strengths, most productive marketing methods, etc. to gain booster for the business.
Another reason why you need to spend on data is because its security cannot be neglected and threats over it are always rising. Security of the stored data against theft and other possible harms are a necessity in the digital world. Anti-malware, firewall, secure backup and encryption technology are some of the data security measures that you should adopt.
5. Auditing Innovations
Auditing of the financial statements is important and it is going to remain this way for long. But the process of auditing is close to a transformation. Recent demands for mandatory auditor rotations and auditor tendering are gaining the interest of masses. So, it is likely that in the coming time, we may witness some major changes. Accountants should prepare themselves to fit with the arriving changes.
Experts are expecting another major change with auditing because of Blockchain technology. With the currently practiced double-entry accounting system, the accountant can check the accuracy of the data with the help of the software. But the auditing by outsider still remains a manual process. Blockchain technology is more of a triple-entry accounting system that allows the machine-based auditing with proper transparency and security. It can pace up the auditing process and that will impact the accountants as well.
Nishant Kadian is a technical writer with Ace Cloud Hosting. He has a strong interest in technical stuff and enjoys writing on QuickBooks Cloud, Cloud Computing, and Data Center technologies.