The accounting industry is evolving. This is down to both advances in technology that are transforming the job field as well as changing client expectations. Here are some of the key trends you can expect to see in 2019, and how you can use them to help your firm prepare for a successful year ahead.
1. The rise of automation
The use of automation software, such as QuickBooks Online Accountant, within the industry continues to rise and create better efficiencies. So, if you’re not already using it, and are still on an old manual system, it’s probably time to make the switch. It will also make it easier to comply with the recently launched legal requirements for Single Touch Payroll.
2. Increased adoption of AI
Alongside automation, big data, machine learning, and artificial intelligence (AI) will begin to have more of an impact on the accounting industry in 2019. While automated accounting software can already crunch the numbers for us, we’re now headed towards code-free processes where things like data entry and transaction coding won’t require any manual intervention.
3. Growing need for advice
Accounting and financial advice services are continuing to merge. Many firms are looking to either offer financial planning and wealth management services, or build on their existing services. In fact, not only are more firms offering advice, but clients are increasingly expecting them to be trusted business advisors. So, if your firm doesn’t already offer these services, it’s probably worthwhile adding them to menu.
4. Demand for alternative fee structures
With supply outstripping demand, clients now have the upper hand when it comes to negotiating on price. Because of this, more and more accounting firms are introducing fixed and value-based pricing instead of charging by the hour. It’s estimated that fixed pricing will account for one-third of revenue within the next two years. While larger firms are currently taking the lead, offering these more transparent fee structures in your smaller practice can help you gain a competitive edge this year.
5. Greater focus on data security
As holders of sensitive data, accountants are a popular target for security breaches. It’s more important than ever to make sure that you are doing everything you can to maintain security for your firm and your clients.