Every profession has its unique challenges. The accounting industry is no different. Let’s look at the top 7 issues accountants face in 2020 and how to overcome them.
Are Accountants Still Relevant?
Yes, accountants are still relevant, but the profession is definitely changing. Precipitated by the increased use of cloud accounting technology, accounts are becoming even more technical. Today, the accountant is chiefly an advisor, which is the greatest value of this position. Because technology is making things like data entry, bank reconciliations, and billing way more streamlined, this means less focus on entering numbers.
Instead, automated accounting tools give accountants more to analyze and report these numbers. Accountants are actually going to be in higher demand for their value in helping companies make stronger, effective business decisions. Many accountants find success in three main career directions, which you can learn about in our recent webinar, but there are still challenges and issues accountants face. Staying relevant and powerful as an accountant requires adaptability.
Top 7 Issues Accountants Face 2020
The biggest issues accountants face will range individually of course, but much of it will involve technology and growing competition. Let’s look at some of these challenges.
The role of an accountant is growing more technical. So much so that job security will likely depend on how adaptable they are to cloud technology. Now more than ever, cloud-based accounting systems are being used both in the office and remotely. Finances are going fully digital. One of the biggest challenges accountants face is being able to use cloud accounting software and operate efficiently in a cloud environment. The importance of storing and analyzing financial data from multiple business applications is also playing an increased role. Defining which business tools need to communicate to the accounting solution and what data needs to be monitored is critical for a complete financial picture of the business.
Related to technology, automated is going to be a challenge for accountants, but not in a way that will eliminate their profession. Automation and even AI will not replace but actually enhance the accountant’s role if they can successfully deploy and use these tools. One of the big challenges for financial experts in 2020 is being able to harness more automated functions to enhance the value of accounting processes.
Competition is always a challenge for financial experts, whether they’re solo Certified Public Accountants (CPA)s or accounting firms. With companies’ resources stretched following the business setbacks of COVID-19, they need accurate accounting insight and a smooth experience. Developing customer loyalty based on positive client experience is critical. Not only will this help accountants provide better, more effective service, it also strengthens the customer bonds. To overcome this, accountants will need accounting features that improve customer experience.
New Skill Requirements
In addition to new technology requirements and pure accounting knowledge, accountants are facing a much more interconnected world. This means wearing multiple hats to understand how the financial picture is drawn. Specifically, this means becoming more adept in understanding business requirements, processes, and even customer behavior. Today the accountant is less about bookkeeping and more about data analytics.
In an uncertain economy, businesses need accurate, informed financial insight to save money and make the best decisions possible. Financial forecasting, financial analysis, and cash flow projection proficiency are critical skills to have now. The more proficient accountants are in these skills, the more valuable they become. Additionally, being able to create dynamic financial and business reports that answer exactly what the company needs to achieve key objectives are important.
Tax Rule Changes
A constant challenge for accountants is keeping up with tax regulations. All levels of accountants and CPAs should be mindful of changes and be able to use accounting technology and tax management systems to handle taxes online. Digital tax requirements like the UK’s Making Tax Digital (MTD) are growing across the world. Therefore, it’s important for accountants to be familiar with the tech and strategies involved. Being able to recommend IT solutions around tax filing and complaints are also a great way to get ahead of the competition.
Accountants face competition within the accounting industry. Accounting departments in companies seem to be shrinking in favor of external accounting services. Many accounting agencies also concentrate on specialized accounting skills like financial analytics and nonprofit accounting. This means accountants should concentrate on their accounting specialties while simultaneously expanding their technology skills to make them more desirable to employers. Being able to function remotely or within a team setting gives accountants more opportunities.
Internal and external accounting system threats are very prominent in 2020. Significant hacking and fraud incidents have been steadily increasing, with spikes this year as workforces shift more to the Cloud in the face of COVID-19. For accountants, the challenge is implementing processes and tools to protect data. Remember, accounting errors and data theft have caused many businesses to actually fail. However, while these digital challenges remain, the advantage for accountants is in knowing the features and internal controls needed to protect financial data.
Get Ahead With The Right Accounting Platform
Whether you’re an individual accountant or accounting firm, you will thrive or struggle based on your accounting system. When you search for a solution, really consider how it will let you collect, visualize, and analyze financial data. Your system should help them do your job without skipping a beat and be flexible in a way to help your function and draw financial insight however you need. Here are a few key considerations when looking for the best accounting system for accountants to utilize.
- Does the system provide an audit trail function to track specific information?
- Is the accounting platform easy to use and adaptable to business needs?
- How efficient are accounting processes?
- What’s the level of automation?
- How flexible and robust are the reporting features?
- Are there security features that fully protect the data?
Accounting Seed checks the box for each of these questions and more. We are an accounting solution built by and designed for accountants. Our system is geared to help you improve workflow, expense management, and decision-making while keeping your data fully secure. Get ahead with automation and features to help you tailor and maximize the customer experience.
Schedule a free demo today to explore how Accounting Seed helps you manage finances your way.