Preparing for the Top 5 Emerging Accounting Trends

John Krautzel
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As demand for accounting services continues to grow, accountants are facing a period of rapid change. Emerging technologies, techniques and other accounting trends are entering the scene at a fast pace, bringing with them their own productivity benefits as well as challenging learning curves. Prepare for these five top accounting trends to ease the transition and get on top of your business or accounting career.

1. An Influx of Data Analytics

As more and more financial analytics tools become available, artificial intelligence and learning may take a bigger role in providing deeper insights into a company's finances. This accounting trend forces accountants to move beyond the traditional financial statements and balance sheets and adopt new technologies to provide more value to clients. For example, accountants can now use industry technologies to run scenario tests and even identify underlying financial risks specific to the client.

2. Personalized Accounting Software Replacing Bundled Packages

Expensive software packages are no longer an end-all solution for clients, giving way to a more personalized approach in which accountants can select add-ons to meet clients' needs. Understanding software suites such as Xerox, which offers more than 500 optional features, can help accountants target the tools they need without having to deal with and pay for unneeded features.

3. The Fall of Hour-Based Pricing

One booming accounting trend is the shift to up-front or value-based pay in which accountants agree on a set price with clients before completing any work. This pushes accountants to be more productive and work more efficiently rather than just working more hours, which can be a positive change for clients and accountants alike.

4. The Rise of Cloud Accounting

Cloud technology is quickly spreading across various industries, and accounting is no exception. According to TFA Geeks, 90 percent of small and medium-sized businesses are predicted to be using cloud accounting technology by the end of 2017. Thanks to this technology trend, accountants can access data from anywhere, providing greater flexibility in accounting practices that may mean more client visits and off-site client meetings.

5. Automation Taking Over

Another accounting trend sweeping the industry is the rapid adoption of automation in accounting processes, fueled by electronic documents and cutting-edge financial software solutions. Accountants should keep in mind that this doesn't mean human workers are becoming obsolete, though it does decrease the need for manual data entry. In addition to limiting the possibility for human error, automation helps businesses keep finances in order while leaving more time for accountants to deliver value-added services to customers.

Cloud-based technology, advanced software and new pricing models are just a few of the accounting trends that are changing the work landscape for finance professionals. Accountants should remain open to trending technology to stay on top of changes and better serve clients.

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