Previously it was common for public accounting firms to focus their efforts on tax, audit, and compliance. Today, a growing number of firms are reaping the benefits of providing a wide variety of value-added services to their clients.
The definition of “accounting firm” is constantly evolving, which is good news for firms who fear becoming complacent! Due to the recent shifts within our industry, firms must be aware of three main changes. Increased competition is placing a higher value on customer service, younger generation employees career expectations differ from previous generations, and lastly those who resist change or new technology will be left behind.
With all of the add-on tools available to accountants and bookkeepers, firms can reduce the time spent on reporting and compliance and devote more time to advisory services in helping their clients’ businesses grow. Thanks to cloud accounting, online collaboration tools, and videoconferencing firms have the ability to work easily with clients from anywhere in the world. As a result of these advancements within the accounting industry, competition amongst accounting firms has increased dramatically to the direct benefit of the consumer.
Many millennials also want to do something they believe in rather than simply work in exchange for a paycheck that may be taken away if we witness another global financial crisis like in 2009. In the accounting industry, the message to recent grads has generally stayed the same. Something to the effect of “Don’t rock the boat, do your time, and you’ll be rewarded.” Transitioning away from this mindset and giving your employees the opportunity to make a real difference in your client's business is a mission the new generation of accountants will identify with.
The biggest resistance to change is taking place at the senior levels of management. In their thinking, why change when the system has worked wonderfully for decades? For this very reason, there is a great opportunity presented to firms who are willing to adapt and embrace new trends. These changes are inevitable, meaning those who leverage value-added services, with tools like ProfitSee, effectively will gain new clients and bring on clients from other firms who oppose change. The future of accounting is alive and well, but that doesn’t mean it has to stay the same.
Read the full article by Blake Oliver here .