Technology’s impact on accounting - insights from our 2023 Tech Forward Survey

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Technology is evolving small business support and recruiting for accountants

Over the next year, accountants expect to spend an average of £17,560 on technology improvements and upgrades according to the Intuit QuickBooks Accountant Technology Survey. Accountants throughout the UK are using this investment to become faster, sharper, and more comprehensive in their support to small businesses. Evolving technology is also helping to solve the industry’s biggest hiring challenges.

Our 2023 Intuit QuickBooks Accountant Technology Survey uncovers just how technology has impacted the accounting industry. We surveyed 2,000 accountants in the UK to provide valuable insight into the shifting needs and demands of modern accounting. Read on to discover what we found.

Client needs are increasing

As small businesses face mounting pressure in the current economy, their needs are increasing. More than 3 in 5 (64%) accountants report that their clients have needed more support with financial management. Accountants are answering the call by expanding their suite of services. Nine out of ten (90%) have used accounting technology to help meet clients’ evolving needs over the past two years

Paving the way to be better business partners

Businesses are feeling the pressure to manage growing financial challenges. From Making Tax Digital to the threat of a shallow recession, business owners are recognising a need for more holistic support from accountants to ensure their stability and success. Long gone are the days of accountants’ role being number crunching only. Clients' increasing needs are creating opportunities for accountants to be strategic business partners. Seven in ten (76%) agree that technology is helping to free up time to focus on taking on more of an advisory role to clients. A majority are seeing this evolving dynamic increase face-to-face time with clients (74%).

Not only is technology enabling accountants to spend more time with their clients, but it’s also making these interactions more meaningful (76%).

Real-time insights are adding value

A shaky economic outlook is creating a need for small businesses to be nimble and timely. Real-time financial insights might be the solution for businesses looking to thrive in this economy.  According to accountants (94%), not only are real-time financial insights important to business success, but also survival-critical. Eight out of ten (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. More than 2 in 5 report that the top benefit of using technology to deliver real-time financial insights is being better positioned to provide advice to clients.

The digitisation of taxes is benefiting businesses 

With Making Tax Digital (MTD), HMRC is modernizing the tax system with a digital overhaul. Eight in ten (83%) accountants agree that MTD will streamline the tax process and 81% think the recent deadline extension is helping businesses. 

But the MTD changes are not without cost. A majority (76%) of accountants agree that they’ll need to increase their prices to keep their clients compliant with MTD requirements. 

Technology is driving business growth

The outcome of increasing client needs? Expanding accounting practices. Business growth is on the horizon for a majority (81%) of accounting professionals and 83% agree that technology will be the driving force behind this expansion. Utilising technology in accounting is also enabling increasing revenues due to efficiency gains as a top business improvement in the industry. 

Technology in accounting is helping to combat hiring challenges

The accounting landscape is evolving and expanding in new ways. Amid these changes, job satisfaction remains high. Two out of three (66%) accountants report being satisfied with their jobs overall and 77% would recommend a career in accounting to young professionals. Despite high levels of job satisfaction, 92% of accountants have experienced hiring challenges over the past year. Driving these challenges is a growing hurdle: a dwindling pipeline of young professionals. Accountants (44%) pinpoint fewer graduates coming into the profession as one of the biggest obstacles to hiring and retention.  

To offset this talent shortage, accountants are turning to technology to elevate the role of young professionals. More than 8 in 10 (86%) believe technologies that make way for more engaging work can help attract young talent. 

Investing in technology for the future

Technology’s benefits to accountants and the small businesses they serve is making the case for future investments. Artificial intelligence and machine learning top the list of technology investments planned for 2023 (45%). 

And while £15,800 was the average amount spent on technology in 2022, accountants are looking to keep up by upping their investment with an average of £17,600 earmarked for technology in 2023. 

Sample and methodology

Intuit QuickBooks Accounting Tech Forward Survey 2023

Online survey commissioned by Intuit QuickBooks in January 2023 of 2,000 UK accountants. Respondents’ average annual income is £107,843. Four in ten (40%) respondents are employed by an accounting firm or own an accounting firm. Six in ten (60%) respondents are employed by a non-accounting business as an in-house accountant. A majority of respondents (57%) are between the ages of 35-54. Three in ten (31%) have worked as an accountant for 1-5 years. One in three (33%) have been employed as an accountant for 6-10 years. Percentages have been rounded to the nearest decimal place so values shown in charts and graphics may not add up to 100%. Responses were collected in online surveys using Pollfish audience pools and partner networks with double opt-ins, random device engagement sampling, and post-stratification based on local census data to ensure accurate targeting and results. Respondents received remuneration.


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