Ever since the trading started, accounting has been the backbone of any business to enable the growth and stability of it. Accounting concepts and basics may not have changed much with debit and credit being the most important notations, nevertheless how we keep our books (accounting) has constantly changed with new regulatory changes and people’s ingenuity to continually make things more complicated. In the past 50 years though, only change we have seen in accounting at a large scale is moving from paper based books to soft books using technology. These days due to ever changing business environment, a robust technology driven accounting system is the prerequisite for any accounting firm. However, the change to cloud based accounting system is still happening very slowly. I believe this industry has been slowest to transform and imbibe change is due to the very nature of it that is money. This industry is like the gatekeepers of the lifeline of any business and hence very risk averse. Having said that I also believe that we are going to see some rapid change in the industry because of some phenomenal changes in the technology and need to provide better service to the customers. Following are some of the key trends in the industry
One Stop Shop
Customers who come to accountants today don’t want to just get their books done but also get some valuable advice from their accountants on variety of their financial needs ranging from tax, financing, mortgage, investments, pension etc. Sole traders, self-employed, contractors and small businesses all want their accountants to deliver these services and yet the lowest cost possible. I think we will see emergence of Accountants advisors who will not only do books but also help their customers with their other tertiary needs.
With the advent of massive cloud infrastructure and accountants need to be able to access their data anytime, anywhere, accounting firms will slowly move towards accounting system on cloud. This will not only help them provide better service but also help them reduce their operating cost.
The benefits of cloud accounting include:
- Cloud software can be combined with numerous add-ons
- Enables small-business to stay connected with their data and accountants all the time
- Enables the access to cloud-based software, using the internet, from any device
- Removes the inevitability to working on a desktop
- It is secure and the data is protected
Automation of accounting services to a virtual accountant has saved accounting firms a lot of time. Automation is gradually eradicating the demand for manual data entry which in-turn is saving accounting firms cost and time. Accounting automation is intended to decrease the load of manual accounting and bookkeeping. Few people think that automation in accounting might seem like a menace for accountants, however, this is not true – automation is unlikely to replace accountants rather make it tremendously advantageous for small-business owners and entrepreneurs
Lot of people think if we can automate, why outsource. The fact is there are numerous studies that state that in most likelihood, automation will not remove jobs but change them by making them more productive. The fact is we would still need people to not only check for quality but also complete the books and analyse the data. Outsourcing of back ended jobs will continue to help accountants focus on customer service and growth. In all likelihood, outsourcing is expected to increase as competition bites the industry due to automation. Small practices that are unable to invest in automation will have to outsource even more heavily to remain competitive and relevant.
Outsourcing will continue to provide:
- Lower costs
- Ability to scale
- Access to expertise, technology and methodology
- Less reliance on capital expenditure
- Time for accountants to focus on growth
In the recent past, collaborative accounting had evolved and now accountants and clients can use collaborative accounting to work collectively in real-time irrespective of their location. Let’s understand this with an example: Now with technology driven collaborative accounting, accountants can view and make changes to their clients’ information for anywhere using cloud-based accounting software and interconnect with clients using collaborative tools such as HipChat and Slack. All that is needed to perform the task is incorporation of technology, portals, and tools, to carry out flow of information between the collaborators
Adopt the latest trend of Outsourcing accounts with a more reliable offshore accounting team today.