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Small Business Data

Accountants are using technology to level up their businesses and the industry

Over the next year, accountants expect to spend an average of $15,800 on technology improvements and upgrades according to the Intuit QuickBooks Accountant Technology Survey. Accountants throughout the US are using this investment to level up by becoming faster, sharper, and more comprehensive in their support to clients. Evolving technology is also helping to solve the industry’s biggest hiring challenges. Key findings include:

  • Technology is transforming accountants’ relationships with their clients—82% of accountants say technology is creating more meaningful client interactions. 
  • Accountants are embracing the power of technology—48% plan to invest in automation tools and artificial intelligence over the next 12 months. 
  • Fewer young professionals are entering the industry. But 85% of accountants believe technology could help turn this around by making way for more engaging work.

Continue reading below for more insights from this year’s survey.

Client needs are increasing

As small businesses face mounting pressure in the current economy, their needs are increasing. More than 3 in 5 accountants report that their clients have needed more support with financial management (67%), filing taxes (62%), managing staffing costs (62%), and financial forecasting (65%) over the past two years.

Accountants are answering the call by expanding their services to better serve their clients. Nine out of 10 (91%) have used technology to help meet clients’ evolving needs over the past two years.

Stepping up to be better business partners

With inflation still at a high point, small businesses are recognizing a need for more holistic support from accountants to ensure their success. Clients' increasing needs are creating opportunities for accountants to be strategic business partners. Eight in 10 (81%) accountants agree that technology is freeing up time to take on more of an advisory role with their clients. A majority (80%) are seeing this evolving dynamic increase face-to-face time with clients as well.

Not only is technology enabling accountants to spend more time with their clients, but it’s also making these interactions more meaningful (82%).

Real-time insights more important than ever

Real-time financial insights are the advantage small businesses need for a more robust and immediate understanding of business performance. According to (93%) accountants, not only are real-time financial insights important to business success, but also survival-critical. Eight out of 10 (84%) accountants agree that companies using technology to get real-time financial insights are more likely to survive a recession.

The value of real-time insights is also supporting the evolving role of accountants. Half (51%) report that the top benefit of using technology to deliver real-time financial insights is being better positioned to provide advice to clients.

Business is booming

The outcome of increasing client needs? Expanding accounting practices. Business growth is on the horizon for a majority (82%) of accounting professionals and 86% agree that technology will be the driving force behind this expansion.

The number one benefit of technology is that it’s helping to boost revenue due to efficiency gains (41%) and more than a third (36%) of accountants say it’s increasing income streams.

Still, accountants say there are areas where technology could help them better serve their clients and grow their businesses. For example, predicting future business performance (38%) and understanding real-time business performance (38%) are among the top areas accountants would like to improve through better use of technology. 

Wave of the future: automation & AI

Accountants recognize the impact technology can have on the growth of their firms and are prioritizing tech investments to move their businesses forward. Nearly half expect to invest in and adopt automation tools (48%), artificial intelligence (AI) (48%), and blockchain technology (47%) over the next 12 months.

Despite planned investments, ensuring accuracy is still a top priority for accountants. Nearly a third (31%) say this is the biggest concern with technology. 

Combatting hiring challenges

The accounting landscape is evolving and expanding in new ways. Amid these changes, job satisfaction remains high. Nearly 7 in 10 accountants (69%) report being satisfied with their jobs overall, and 82% would recommend a career in accounting to young professionals.

Despite high levels of job satisfaction, 90% of accountants have experienced hiring challenges over the past year. Driving these challenges is a growing hurdle: a dwindling pipeline of young professionals. Accountants pinpoint fewer graduates coming into the profession (94%) as one of the biggest obstacles to hiring and retention. Accountants are responding accordingly. Over a third (36%) identified mentoring younger professionals as a key way to create a competitive advantage.

A shortage of young talent is also highlighting a need for succession planning with 87% of accountants saying planning for their business’s long-term future is a priority. 

The silver lining is that technology may provide a solution. To offset the talent shortage, accountants are turning to technology to elevate the role of young professionals. More than 8 in 10 (85%) believe technologies that make way for more engaging work can help attract young talent and breathe new life into the industry. Other tactics to retain talent include helping with qualification costs (36%), providing advancement opportunities (36%), and training (36%).

Sample and methodology

Intuit QuickBooks Accounting Tech Forward Survey 2023

Online survey commissioned by Intuit QuickBooks in January 2023 of 2,000 US accountants. Respondents’ average annual income is $98,837. Half of respondents (54%) are employed by an accounting firm or own an accounting firm. Nearly half of respondents (46%) are employed by a non-accounting business as an in-house accountant. A majority of respondents (62%) are between the ages of 35-54. A third (33%) have worked as an accountant for 1-5 years. Another third (33%) have been employed as an accountant for 6-10 years. 


This content, report and materials are for informational purposes only and should not be considered legal, accounting, financial, investment, or tax advice, or a substitute for obtaining such advice specific to your business. Additional information and exceptions may apply. Applicable laws may vary by state or locality. No assurance is given that the information is comprehensive in its coverage or that it is suitable in dealing with a customer’s particular situation. Intuit Inc., or its affiliates do not have any responsibility for updating or revising any information presented herein. Accordingly, the information provided should not be relied upon as a substitute for independent research. Intuit Inc., or its affiliates do not warrant that the material contained herein will continue to be accurate nor that it is completely free of errors when published. Readers should verify statements before relying on them.

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