Accounting Industry Predictions – Part 1
Since everyone is busy this time of year, we wanted to do a few shorter posts that have a bit of entertainment value.
We’ll call this our predictions series and hope we can share some things that will be fun to think about – well – fun for accountants anyway.
So here are my predictions about technology in general for accountants:
Technology will be changing very rapidly in the next 10 years. There will be some game-changers! Newer tools will have both extremely positive results for some of the work that accountants do and will also commoditize much of what accountants do now.
First, the downside:
Better software will drive down prices of routine work in the accounting industry. It will also make geography less relevant. I see the H&R block ads offering free online tax software for the do-it-yourself taxpayer. There are also national on-line preparers grabbing more and more market share. Of course, many people will always prefer to go to a professional that provides highly personalized service, but if you are running a high-volume, low-complexity tax practice, there will be downward fee pressure on the pure compliance component of your services.
Now, the upside:
New software will be available to help accountants do more value-added services. There will come a day very soon where you’ll be able to run a client’s p&l through an application that spits out incredibly valuable information that clients can use to run better companies. They’ll think you’re a hero! On top of that, the efficiencies for compliance and administrative functions will continue to improve which should free accountant’s up to work on client and staff relationships to build more profitable practices.
Think back about how work was done 10 years ago, what about 20? 30 even? Some huge changes have happened and the pace is probably going to just accelerate from here.