The changing challenges of Accounting
Updated: Dec 10, 2021
The accountancy landscape has changed considerably over the last fifteen years. People of a certain vintage will have experienced each and every change along the way. Such is the pace of change, that even relative newcomers to the industry will be constantly needing to adapt and relearn.
Arguably the greatest change has been the wide scale adoption of cloud accounting technology from the likes of Xero and Quickbooks. This has given accountants and their clients unparalleled access to technology that was typically the preserve of much larger organisations.
Fast forward to today and the sector continues to evolve. The rise of automation and the increasing sophistication of artificial intelligence (AI) creates both threats and new opportunities for practice owners.
We’ve spoken to a lot of people within the industry, from accountants and their clients, right through to our competitors and vendor partners. Getting consensus on the big challenges facing the sector can be tough, but a piece of analysis from Accounting Today had us nodding our head a lot.
In it, they cited five challenges for the industry, in this post we’ll focus on the top three.
The impact of technology
Adapting to rapid change
The shift to advisory services
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The rise of cloud accounting has meant an incredible rise in the number of apps for practice owners and for their clients. Each cloud accounting platform has a huge range of apps to choose from. At the time of writing, Xero alone has over 600 apps to choose from. While having a lot of choice is generally a good thing, it does make the process of making choices that bit harder.
Once you’ve selected the apps that are best to run your practice the next challenge is to make sure that they play nice together. Simply put, can they talk to each other? Can they share data so that you have a single source of truth at any given time? And, do they do this without manual intervention? It always seems a bit pointless to us if you have to export something to Excel or Google Sheets to make it work.
Even if the data is accurate there is still something else to consider. More apps mean more subscriptions to pay, more training to deliver and, ultimately, a more complex workflow to manage.