Every day, software makes it easier for people to do their own accounting even without any work experience in that field. To stay relevant, accountants need to offer services that go above and beyond what individuals and business owners can do on their own. If you want to continue to attract new clients, you need to be ready to compete in the world of the future.
Do More Than Crunch Numbers
With the right software, almost anyone can handle their own accounting and tax prep. Some software is streamlined so business owners only need to understand a few accounting essentials to use it, and tax prep software typically works on an interview-style format. Basically, the software asks easy-to-understand questions, and it populates the tax return based on the users’ answers.
That means that as an accountant, you have to compete with software as well as with other accountants. To do that, consider offering more than just tracking and crunching numbers. Instead, offer advisory and consultancy services to your clients. Sure, the software can track the numbers, but can it help clients make tough decisions about their finances? Probably not, and that’s where you come in.
In addition to offering extra services, consider sharing tools and software in ways that save your clients money. Imagine you subscribe to cloud-based accounting software for accountants. You can track records for numerous clients using that software, but your clients can also use the software to enter information on their end.
Your clients pay a fee for your services, but they don’t have to pay anything extra for the software. In contrast, if they had to invest in their own software, they may end up paying more out of pocket. By offering access to powerful tools and programs, you add value to your services, and that also helps you stay competitive.
Stay on Top of Tech Trends
While easy-to-use accounting software may be a major concern at the moment, technology is constantly changing. If you want to remain competitive in the face of technology, you need to stay on top of what’s happening. According to the Boston Consulting Group, up to a quarter of jobs may be replaced by artificial intelligence by 2025, and accounting professionals are in the top 10 percent of jobs most likely to be affected. If you want to be prepared for these shifts, you need to know what’s happening now and what’s projected for the future.
Prepare for the Future Today
If you’re worried about what the future may hold for accountants, you need to start preparing immediately. To explain, imagine you are worried your industry is going to lose a lot of bookkeeping jobs in the next decade. In light of that, you decide that providing insight and consultancy services may be one way to stay relevant. Then, to hone those skills, you sign up for some continuing professional development classes related to financial analysis. In other cases, you may decide to explore ways to make artificial intelligence work for you so you can handle more clients with less effort.
The future is coming, and to stay competitive, you need to future proof your accounting firm. To do that, identify skills and insight that make you more valuable than software. Then, find ways to hone and develop those skills so you can market them to clients.