If you read our blogs regularly, by now you would be well aware of the importance of accounting and finance for a business. Staying on top of accounting and finance is the key element for a business to be successful. Every business requires a professional accountant to rank on top, however, each business is unique, having its own accounting needs.
The business platform is changing, having remote work and global markets high all the time, and continuously improving from time to time, specifically throughout the last year when digitalisation of almost each and everything became the new norm.
We have set up a list of accounting trends that will be seen in the following year below;
2. Blockchain Technology
3. Know how to Deal with Millennial clients
4. Firms focused on niche
5. Global competition & outsourcing
6. Use of Accounting Software
These strategies will help accountants and accountancy firms to remain relevant and meet the needs requirements of the business community. We have elaborated these ways further, adopting which, your accountancy game will change.
Automated accounting practices or should I say automation, is the new normal. Throughout recent years, more and more business have switched their manual systems to automated ones. However, there are still many business owners present who are insecure about it. Despite the fact that Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine learning are designed only to enhance the efficiency of business processes, people fear that these auto operating systems might not be as accurate due to a lack of human intelligence.
Accounts payable professionals who automate invoice capture and payments save an average of one hour per day – Mineral Tree
Automation in accountancy and other fields has been majorly adopted with the emergence of cloud-based services and a number of different apps, programs, and software. However, machines may be able to effectively assemble data, but the need for human intelligence is still essential in order to analyse the data accumulated by the machines and use it for making business decisions.
AP automation can save $16 per invoice or more, depending on the size of your company-
Vanguard Systems AP shocking stats
Automation alongside being common in the upcoming year will also get ultra-modern and systematic with new and improved technology, having more particular and error-free algorithms. We can all agree on how accounting proceedings like accumulation and analyses of data is not a business edge anymore but a need of time, mainly if a business is planning on operating the global market.
Adopting these practices only may not make you stand out but will definitely keep you relevant in the industry for a longer period of time. If you are an accountant, then it is time you change your game and start practicing these strategies.
According to a study by Forbes;
By 2020, labour-intensive tasks like tax preparation, audits, and banking will be fully automated.
2. Blockchain Technology
Having a technology that keeps your personal information and records completely secure is essential for life today, especially in banks and for accountancy purposes. Blockchain technology is viewed as one of the top five strategies escalated by 10% between the years 2018 and 2019. Blockchain has transformed accountancy from a central point which has the records of all the clients gathered in one place. This enables the business owners to access the clients’ data. Having the clients and accountants at the same point, hence if any party makes changes, it can be seen by everyone. The ease blockchain technology provides should be highly appreciated. No wonder why it has become so common among business owners and accountants.
The question often arises, how can Blockchain Technology affect and benefit your business? Well, before trying it out upon your own business, you can go through the points below to find out what accountants including the accountants in Milton Keynes had to say about it and why they use and recommend it;
- It is far less likely to make errors
- It efficiently analyses business numbers
- Compared to the traditional transaction which takes very long, using blockchain, completes transactions within minutes
- Blockchain Technology’s high-end security makes fraudulent activity impossible
- The real-time feature helps provide ameliorated transparency when it comes to transactions
Blockchain offering security and transparency will remain a victorious technology in the upcoming year and no doubt several more years as well, until maybe there is an improved program introduced. A survey showed that 81% of businesses are looking forward to changing their present record system in order to remove errors in accountancy, money laundering, fraud, and terror financing.
3. Know how to Deal with Millennial Clients
At present, there are generally more millennial business owners than any other age. This is an age of millennial clients, meaning, accountants now majorly have to deal with young business owners. Dealing with young minds can be different, since they are full of creativity and, calling out challenges, and innovating new ways and strategies. They tend to challenge the traditional business ways, wanting to adopt digital accounting, ditching all kinds of paperwork. However, it is factual that keeping records of business numbers and other data manually is excessively time-consuming plus vulnerable to be inaccurate. The present and future generation of business owners understand this, and they look forward to finding efficient and eco-friendly ways of accounting and financial management.
67 percent of accountants feel that the profession is more competitive
than ever- Sage’s 2018 Practice of Now Report
According to this, accountants now have to deal with their clients with a different value system, the manual accounting and financial management days are over, which is probably favourable for all, the business owner, the accountants, and the client.
These three basic qualities are what business owners require in an accountant or accountancy firm;
- Complete transparency in accounting and financial matters
- A personalised approach
- An active attitude
It was reported by 64% of accountants that the main reason for adopting new technology was to assure efficiency in work, and 44% reported that it was to improve service quality. The business owners in Milton Keynes now look for accountants in MK which not only have number-crunching skills but know how to deal with advancement and technology. Efficient use of software, analysing data, having a business partnering mindset, and familiarity with upgraded and advanced accounting practices are the abilities that business owners look for when they hire an accountant.
4. Firms Focused on Niche
There are specific niches in which accounting firms now choose to stay. This not only makes sure that the respective firm stands out, but also allows accountants to have exposure in a sector of the industry they are interested in, and helps them specialise in what they enjoy working with. Working and specialising in a particular niche does not only benefit the accounting professionals but also attracts business owners that are looking for someone with experience in the relevant industry.
This is how specialising can be beneficial for accounting professionals;
- This helps them get clients in the same industry through reference and network.
- Working in your own area of interest makes you give your best.
- Becoming an expert in a specific field gives you the confidence to offer personalised expert solutions to businesses.
Specialising in a specific niche brings more revenue to a business than it would otherwise. Pulling you apart from your competitors, specialising helps you to discover something new and unique, in a prospect that you wouldn’t find if you were stuck with a general or common niche.
A large number of firms, be it an accounting firm or a firm of any other niche, especially in the UK use remote workers from other countries to take care of their business’s simpler tasks. This is outsourcing. A study by Accounting Web showed that between the years 2017 and 2018, the outsourcing of work grew by 20% in the UK.
Accounting practices are not that simple, and at times there can be complexities in the management of time, and putting in the effort, so we suggest outsourcing an accountant task is a great idea. This will allow you to focus on the more important and complex part on your own, while you can assign the simpler or more time taking tasks to remote workers. This will release a good amount of pressure from your back and you will watch your accounting being done super efficiently and timely. There is a possibility that some business owners might think that trusting an offshore worker is a bad idea due to a lack of interaction and direct contact between the business owner and the remote worker, hence they won’t be sure of how the workers might handle the data. But to their surprise, we have good news! Remote workers have expertise in their own field. They will only need minimal assistance with how you want things to be, and they will further know how to tackle things from there. One more thing which might satisfy you is that after the task has been completed by the outsourced worker, it gets sent to your accounting firm where there is a two-step check system, where the task after being reviewed by your firm, is approved.
If you want to, you can even maintain personalised contact with the remote worker when they won’t be consumed by a plethora of tasks. This might result in the professional delivering the best possible service to your business.
6. Use of Accounting Software
With time, as we have discussed above, the use of technology is increasing at a remarkably high pace. All this is resulting in the minimisation of manual tasks. Software for business and accounting makes things far less time-consuming and reduces the chances of errors.
According to a report by Fortune Business Insights;
The accounting software market is going to experience a higher level of growth in the years ahead.
The demand for accounting software has increased and the popularity it has gained among accountants is worth it.
Here are some accounting software that you might want to try out for your business;
- Sage Intacct
- Sage Business Cloud Accounting
1. Sage Intacct
Sage Intacct is a software which offers accounting features, such as, finance management, accounts payables and receivables, and spending pattern.
Xero allows users to track transactions and edit them, monitor bills and invoices, and process payroll.
FreeAgent lets you send invoices and track them, manage expenses, and keep track of time.
Gusto has a feature of automated payroll management to make sure there are no human errors.
5. Sage Business Cloud Accounting
Sage Business Cloud Accounting integrates account management, expense management, and compliance management, all into one platform.
8. Use of Social Media
Social media is the most productive way of promoting a brand or spreading awareness. The use of social media can be similarly efficient for accountants too, providing them a platform to showcase their experience. This helps accountants have exposure in the digital world, be noticed by millions of people, interact with thousands of them, and demonstrate their expertise. This doesn’t only promote them but also provides countless opportunities to learn about their respective industry. All you need is an effective strategy to increase your business profitability.
The year 2021 will be impacted by globalisation and digitalisation more than any year in history, hence advancement and smart use of technology are a basic need for accountants and accounting firms. On the other hand, the business owners today are mainly millennials, which are not impressed by traditional accounting practices and are looking for advancement in them. Hence, the upcoming year requires automation and updated technology that saves time and energy, and eliminates chances of error.
As premier accountants in Milton Keynes, we are available to advise you for all your accountancy and finance needs. Contact us today.