Trends constantly come and go in the accounting world. At one point in time, managing books by hand was all the rage (and the only way to do it). Now, cloud-based accounting is on the rise. So, what does the future of accounting look like? Read on to find out the latest trends and how they can benefit your firm and clients.
Future of accounting: 6 Trends to keep in mind
What’s to come in the accounting world? Robots? Maybe new accounting methods? Well, there’s no crystal ball to tell us the future of accounting profession. But, there are some trends you can keep an eye on to help your firm thrive for many years to come. Without further ado, here are six game-changing accounting trends to consider following at your firm.
1. Automation, automation, automation
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you probably know that automation is on the rise. After all, who wouldn’t want an easier way to complete certain accounting tasks and processes?
So many accounting processes and tasks have already been automated. And the list just keeps getting longer. Here are just a few things that have been automated over the last few years in the accounting world:
- Expense management
- Bank reconciliation
- Accounts receivable and payable
- Financial reporting
- Cash flow forecasting
- Data entry
- Invoicing and billing
- Practice management
Automated accounting has a ton of benefits for you (and your clients). It can help reduce errors, eliminate confusion, save time, reduce costs, and boost productivity.
2. Artificial intelligence
Artificial intelligence, or AI, is probably something you’ve heard about by now. You might not be 100% sure what exactly it is. But, it might be something you already use on a daily basis without knowing (e.g., accounting software) … and it’s getting more popular as we speak.
AI in accounting can help you manage and streamline certain tasks, such as:
- Categorizing transactions
- Reconciling accounts
- Identifying security threats
- Finding data entry errors
- Automatically matching data
Here’s a perfect example of how artificial intelligence has made its way into accounting: Patriot Software’s Smart Suggestion feature. Smart Suggestion uses machine learning technology, or AI, to provide automatic expense account suggestions. In turn, it saves users precious time by manually categorizing transactions during imports. Talk about a win-win.
3. Data security
As an accountant, you deal with a lot of sensitive client information. And unfortunately, that type of information is exactly what cyber attackers want. To help keep your clients’ information safe, you can step up your data security.
New types of cyber threats are popping up every day. Not to mention, accounting firms are at a 30% higher risk of becoming victims of a cyberattack. To ensure you keep client information secure, you can prioritize data security by:
- Using cloud accounting software
- Having unique and secure passwords
- Setting up two-factor authentication
- Training staff on cyber security best practices
Don’t procrastinate on setting up new security measures. You never know when a hacker is going to strike.
4. Diverse skills
As the accounting landscape changes, so are accountants. Sure, you still need certain skills to be a successful accountant, like knowing accounting best practices. But, you also need to develop diverse skills to stay ahead of the game and remain competitive.
So, what kind of accounting skills should you be developing? Think data analytics, communication (especially if you offer remote accounting services), and technological skills.
To ensure you can accommodate as many clients as possible and provide valuable insight, stay ahead of the curve by learning the necessary new skills.
5. Value-based pricing
When it comes to prices for accounting services, you want to be like Goldilocks. The price has to be not too low, yet not too high. It has to be just right. Otherwise, you may either 1. Jeopardize your firm’s bottom line with underpricing or 2. Scare off potential or current clients with steep pricing.
One trend that can help you find just the right price for you and your clients is value-based pricing. With value-based pricing, you charge services at a rate you believe clients are willing to pay.
Value-based pricing prevents any surprises when it comes to pricing and lets clients know they’re paying for exactly which services they need.
6. Cloud-based accounting systems
Last but certainly not least, cloud accounting systems are becoming very popular among accountants. Why? Let’s count the reasons.
Here are just some perks of cloud-based accounting software:
- Ease of use
If you go the online accounting software route, you can easily share reports with clients and vice versa. Not to mention, it can be a very inexpensive way to manage your clients’ books.
To ensure you find the right software for your firm, do some research on partner programs, make a list of wants and needs, and review pros and cons before making any commitments.
Bonus trends to keep in mind
The accounting future doesn’t stop there. There are tons of other accounting trends to keep on your radar. Keep these trends in the back of your mind while scaling your firm:
- Accounting services
- Blockchain technology
- Big data
- Advisory services
- Remote firms
Do your homework to see what’s trending in the accounting world. After all, you never know which trend is going to pop up next and help your firm succeed.
Looking to streamline your clients’ books and payroll? Join Patriot’s Partner Program for award-winning software, special pricing, free USA-based support, and more.
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