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Accounting Trends for 2019 and Beyond

December 8th, 2018

2019, accounting, trends, new year, accountants, technology

With new developments in technology every day, companies around the world are always evolving to keep up with new trends in the industry. These digital developments can help accounting firms achieve more growth, allowing them to function more efficiently at a lower cost.

The accounting industry is usually slow to adopt new technology and do not adapt well to changes to their current processes. But in order for firms to stay competitive, they need to implement the latest technology which would bring greater efficiency to the accounting function. Following are up and coming trends in Accounting for the year 2019 and beyond:

Cloud-based tools

Many accounting firms these days are moving their data to the cloud. They prefer to store their data on remote servers rather on their personal computer. Numerous cloud-based tools are now created specifically for the accounting process. In the upcoming years, accounting firms should be more flexible and adaptable to cloud technologies, especially if they want to get ahead. Here are some potential benefits of moving your data to the cloud:

  1. Improved security

    Cloud providers need to follow stringent regulatory standards that help protect the sensitive data on their servers. The cloud is also protected by experts in the field who are more knowledgeable about how to protect data than the average accounting professional. Because of this, the data is safer on the cloud as your personal computer is more vulnerable to cyber attacks.

  2. Remote access

    When you move your data to the cloud all users of the server can view the data from remote locations with ease. With the rise of the gig economy, being able to access data from any location in the world will become increasingly important for accounting firms.

  3. Cost savings

    One of the most significant benefits of working on the cloud is the cost savings. A company no longer has to spend money on software equipment and infrastructure. Instead, they can use the money to invest in higher processing power. This reduces both capital and operating costs.

Cloud-based programs are not just for large firms; many predict that in 2019 small companies will adopt the cloud computing trend as well and enjoy all its benefits.

Here is a list of seven things to consider before making the shift to a cloud-based program.

Increasing security

Accounting firms work with clients and store their personal financial information, making security a top priority for them. Keeping data secure is important for firms, especially small ones, as they are most vulnerable to cyber attacks. As criminal technology becomes more advanced, accounting firms need to upgrade their technology as well to prevent any cyber attacks. With the introduction of GDPR guidelines, misuse of client information is more important than ever before because it can attract heavy fines for a firm. A good firm values its client’s data and will take the necessary steps to make sure the information is safe. In 2019, there will be an increase in data security tools and training for employees on security protection measures.

Artificial Intelligence

AI is set to play an important role in accounting firms in 2019 that cannot be ignored. Artificial Intelligence is expected to reduce the amount of time people spend on redundant accounting tasks and change the skills needed to be a successful accounting professional. It will help accountants become more strategic in their decision making. AI allows accountants to analyze data quickly and with greater accuracy. This will not only speed up the decision-making process but will also allow accountants to provide their clients with better advice. AI will help free up more time that can be used towards revenue-generating tasks. Leaving the number crunching work to robots, through technology such as Robotic Process Automation, will free up time for accountants to focus on business-management roles and form long-lasting relationships with their clients. In this way, technology can be the key to strengthening client relationships

Big Data analytics

The work ‘Big Data’ is a commonly used term in many organizations today. It has helped increase productivity in many sectors of an organization from accounting to marketing and operations. Big data allows users to access vast amounts of data at any time. Professionals are now on the lookout for more advanced technology that will improve analytics reporting, budgeting, forecasting and help speed up the decision making process. In 2019 and beyond Big Data is expected to help all facets of an accounting firm achieve their goals. On a micro-level, big data will help with everyday decision making and keep track of revenue and expenses. On a macro-level manager and directors will have a big picture view of the company to ensure that well-informed decisions are made at every level of the company.

Advancements with Blockchain

Blockchain is a digital ledger that allows users from different sources to access the same information in real time. If the company’s financial information is on the blockchain, it can be accessed by leaders and investors in the organization. If any one user makes a change to the information, it is immediately seen by all the other users of the blockchain allowing for better security and transparency of data. Blockchain is set to revolutionize the accounting industry, bringing greater efficiency to the compliance, auditing and reconciliation functions.

Video marketing

The use of content marketing strategies is a great way for a firm to let existing and potential clients know more about them. Many studies have shown that using video to promote your brand is incredibly effective as many customers prefer visual content over written content. It also allows your website to rank higher on a Google search and lets accounting firms put their brand out there.  Accounting firms can use videos to share news about the accounting industry, introduce the professionals on their team and talk about changes in tax policies and new legislation.

More DIY software will be available

With the development of technology, there has been a rise in more do-it-yourself tools that have helped make the accounting function much simpler like Quickbooks Assistant. This technology can help change the roles of accountants who can use their skills to act as advisers to users of the DIY tools.

With the accounting profession, change is unavoidable. Firms in the accounting industry need to keep up with technological advancements in order to experience growth. If companies adopt the accounting trends listed above, they can advise clients more efficiently with greater time and cost savings. They will no longer need to perform repetitive accounting tasks and can instead focus their time on business development. Use these accounting trends to help your firm achieve higher revenues and build those long-lasting relationships with clients in 2019!

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