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Ettean Smit, SmartPractice Director | November 2021
It is no surprise that based on our experience and research, accounting trends revolve mainly around technology and how the industry strives to be more efficient and profitable by converting manual tasks into automated functions.
Cloud based accounting tools have become the way of the present and the future, continuing at an alarming speed into 2022.
Automated Accounting Processes
This is the key trend in the industry currently. It eliminates confusion and reduces errors. Since the process relies heavily on data driven software, practitioners face the risk of data breaches. We are producing more data driven decisions than ever before, so our strength may become our weakness. Key areas to note:
Automation has not run its course, it will continue to develop.
Automation will empower your clients, forcing you to stay relevant.
Outsourcing Accounting Functions
Outsourcing of the entire accounting and HR function is becoming a popular strategy for many companies. The number of benefits (primarily the saving of employment costs) will give rise to many more outsourcing opportunities.
Cloud Based Accounting
Even though cloud technology adoption seems slow within South Africa it is believed that no less than 67% of accountants now believe that cloud accounting can make their lives easier. Thus, cloud conversions will continue to be very relevant.
According to a Xero report the revenue growth for cloud based practices is in the region of 15%, compared to 4% for those that are not “all-in”.
A Shift to Data Analytics
As daily tasks become easier the industry is shifting its focus to analytics and we are taking on new roles as financial advisors. Better data leads to improved processes and efficiency in our own businesses as well as our clients.
Utilising Social Media
An effective social media strategy can contribute to the profitability of your business. Social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, blogs, and community forums help businesses keep in touch with clients. Accounting firms also benefit from monitoring competitors and industry trends. As far back as 2014, about 77% of accountants already use social media as part of their marketing and branding strategy (University of New South Wales, 2018).
For the first time in history, candidates get to dictate certain terms of their employment, among which is having a flexible and remote work setting. Accounting leaders are consequently adapting to the trend of allowing employees to engage in remote work. See our previous newsletter on this.