5 Accounting Trends to Watch Out for

5 Accounting Trends to Watch Out for in 2022 and Beyond

When you’re an accounting professional, you look at trends every day. Whether looking to see where your firm’s profits spike each year or trying to predict cash flow for a client, you’re probably well-versed in spotting certain trends. But, are you aware of the latest accounting trends for 2022?

5 Accounting trends

Are you staying up-to-date with the latest accounting industry trends for this year? If not, it’s time to read up and get with the times. Here are five accounting trends to keep on your radar (and don’t knock ‘em till you try ‘em!).

accounting trends

1. Cloud-based accounting

Before modern technology intervened, accountants had to handle clients’ books by hand—ooph. But now, long gone are the days where you have to do accounting manually. Instead, there’s this great invention called cloud accounting that’s the new(ish) sheriff in town … and it won’t be going anywhere anytime soon.

Cloud-based accounting software has become all the rage for a variety of reasons. For starters, it’s easily accessible. Accounting professionals can access cloud-based software anytime, anywhere, which is a major advantage when you’re a busy advisor. You clients can also use it to handle the basics of their books and pass along reports to you to handle the bigger stuff (e.g., cash flow forecasting).

Cloud accounting also keeps your firm’s and clients’ information secure through the cloud. Plus, you don’t have to worry about doing pesky updates throughout the year. Why? Because everything is backed up automatically and the software handles updates for you. Talk about a win-win. 

If you’re still manually managing your firm’s or clients’ books, think about the perks of cloud-based accounting the next time you go to update them. And instead of daydreaming about the way you can save your time and money with cloud-accounting, make a move and switch to cloud-based accounting (you’ll thank yourself later).

2. Automated accounting

When it comes to business, automation is king nowadays. After all, why waste time doing something yourself when it can automatically be done for you? And, automation is certainly making its way into certain accounting tasks and processes.

You may have been noticing recently more automated accounting. You’re not going crazy—it’s everywhere! Here are some tasks you may have seen automated:

  • Expense management
  • Payroll
  • Bank reconciliation
  • Accounts receivable
  • Accounts payable
  • Financial reporting

…And the list continues to grow each and every day. Luckily, these automated accounting tasks are chock-full of perks for you and your clients. Automated accounting can help reduce costs, make records more accurate, save time, and increase productivity. 

Automation saves you time to focus on your other tasks, like marketing!

Ready to put a little more time into marketing your practice? Download our free marketing checklist for accountants to help you source new clients and retain your current ones.

3. AI in accounting

Another trend that’s taken the accounting industry by storm is AI, or artificial intelligence. With AI, you can increase your firm’s productivity, generate more accurate data, and streamline certain processes and accounting tasks.

Not sure what in the world AI in accounting really is? Here’s a good example for you. Patriot Software created a feature called Smart Suggestion that uses machine learning technology (a type of AI) to save customers clicks and precious time while managing their books. Patriot’s Smart Suggestion provides automatic expense account suggestions, saving them from manually categorizing transactions during bank imports. 

AI in accounting isn’t just “trendy” either. It’s something that’s going to be here to stay and will evolve (and get even smarter) over time. So, pay attention to what AI in accounting can do for your firm and clients and how it transforms the industry over the next few years, decades, and beyond. 

4. Remote work for accountants

Thanks to the pandemic, accountants across the country had to find new ways to communicate with clients (e.g., video chat) and communicate with them from behind a computer screen. And, this trend (like many of the others) won’t be disappearing anytime soon.

Many firms are embracing remote and hybrid work. In fact, 81% of firms expect more remote work post-pandemic. And although some may think it’s unproductive, remote work isn’t necessarily a “bad” thing. It’s actually made a really positive impact on firms and businesses worldwide. For firms, remote work has:

  • Increased productivity
  • Expanded client bases
  • Improved communication between accountants and clients

If you haven’t hopped on the remote work train yet, it’s time to consider it (and its perks for your firm). Working remotely may be an adjustment, but it can help your firm strengthen client relationships with more ways to communicate and attract and retain more clients (and who doesn’t want more clients?).

5. Blockchain

Blockchain is another trend making its way into the accounting industry. But for Pete’s sake, what is it?

Blockchain is a form of computer database designed to decentralize and secure electronic data security. Its design allows for security without using another trusted third party. With blockchain accounting, transactional data is almost impossible to manipulate.

How does this impact the accounting industry? With blockchain technology, accountants can:

  • Cut out the middleman while transferring money
  • Utilize smart contracts for payroll, reconciliations, and other tasks
  • Verify the accuracy of financial records
  • Gain a better view of their firm’s resources

If you haven’t already, brush up on your blockchain knowledge and learn how it can benefit your firm. You may be surprised by what you learn. 

Staying up-to-date with accounting industry trends

Accounting trends are ever-changing. Luckily, there are a lot of ways you can stay in the know. To ensure you’re up-to-date with the new trends in accounting, you can:

  • Subscribe to an accountant professional or accounting blog
  • Follow accounting publications
  • Watch out for notices from your accounting software, if applicable
  • Join local professional organizations and groups
  • Go on accountant professional discussion boards
  • Follow trusted and reliable accountant professional accounts on social media
  • Subscribe to accounting-related podcasts

Don’t be afraid to do your homework to help keep up with the times. The more you do to stay in the loop, the better off your firm (and more importantly, your clients!) will be.

This is not intended as legal advice; for more information, please click here.