Top 5 Accounting Trends to Stay Ahead in 2021
As you put a full stop to 2020 and gear up to kick-off a brand new year, here are 5 accounting industry trends that will define 2021.
2020 was filled with surprises that no one had ever asked for. The global pandemic was never the part of any QXAS blog or anyone else’s, however, it tragically turned out to be the defining event of 2020 and will dominate 2021.
Maybe we acknowledged it much later, but this year actually had some positive impact, to some degree, on some accountants. You proactively dealt with your clients, made optimum use of technology and transformed into real human support that the clients needed you to be.
You have thrived and evolved in this year full of challenges and needless to say, change is going to be the only constant in 2021. You may not have been able to predict a global pandemic (neither did anyone else). But this year, here’s little attempt at forecasting what’s coming up for accountants.
Here’s a breakdown on the top 5 accounting trends highlighted in surveys from Sage, RecieptBank & Accounting Today that you need to be gearing up for in 2021:
1. Accountants as Advisors
According to a study by Sage, 82% of clients agree that they expect their accountants to offer services such as advising on relevant accounting and finance technologies. With the degree of technological advancement that accountants have gone through this year, most of you are now able to bid farewell to the drudgery of manual accounting processes which helps you save huge chunks of time throughout your work-week.
In 2021, advisory services are going to be primary growth drivers for accountants. It enables them to provide more value in less time. Accountants will now have to spend more time with their clients understanding their problems and offering customised solutions for their businesses.
2. More Focus on Client Retention
Sage’s survey also reports that 87% of accountants agree that clients expect better service levels and more flexibility from them.
The pandemic has changed the stereotype of how accountants were primarily perceived to be. This year, instead of just calculating numbers and filing reports, clients expect their accountants to cater to their urgent needs, help them with strategic advice and provide them with the basic financial education to settle into the new normal. Now, for small businesses, there’s an imperative need of having an expert who helps them with the right technology and advisory.
This newfound role of an accountant allowed them to become the irreplaceable ‘go-to’ accountant for their clients. It helps them deepen the connection with their clients, build stronger relationships and increase client retention.
3. Cloud Accounting and Automated Accounting Processes
2020 clumped together years of technological evolution into just a few months. Accountants moved from traditional office settings to silo-ed remote work stations.
Accounting software solutions like QuickBooks, Sage, Xero, and others changed that. Now, accountants can deliver high-quality reports while sitting at their home desks sipping their hot cup of coffee. And this is precisely the beginning of a long-term change.
In 2021, there are going to be more technological advancements. Accountants need to keep evolving and make pace with the changes while making sure there’s a natural synergy between technology and their services.
4. Centre Stage to Outsourcing
As working-from-home came into our lives, the stigma of remote working went out the door and accountants became more accepting of collaborating with an offshore team. Sage reports that almost 66% of accountants are keen on collaborating with offshoring team to give the competitive edge to their accounting firm.
With the benefit of cost and time saving, accountants get to focus more on expanding their service portfolio and plan for the future.
It also allows firm owners to free-up time to upskill their in-house team to train them to adapt to the ever-evolving accounting landscape.
5. Continued Remote Working
The onset of the pandemic broke the archetype of 9-5 routines and allowed accountants to work in their most productive hours. And that’s how remote-work setup propelled more productivity in many accounting firms.
Not just productivity, remote working also contributes to sustainability. There’s zero use of paper and minimum carbon emissions allowing firms to become greener and more sustainable.
There is more or at least equal productivity rather than a decline and in 2021, firm owners are going to continue embracing this flexible mode of working.
Employees have location independence, employers have better job retention and it’s contributing to a greener environment. Is there any other way to make 2021 better?
To a New Year & More Opportunities
No matter how challenging 2020 has been, we can’t refrain from the fact that it has opened doors to new opportunities.
We are now residing in a global accounting space and reaching out to new clients has never been so easy. It truly is an accountant’s golden opportunity to get hold of more clients, offer more high-value services and take your firm to the next level.
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