How to Future-Proof Your Accounting Firm

The finance industry is rapidly approaching a transition. The time to future-proof your accounting firm is now. 

In a field known to resist change, developing modern processes is required to remain competitive. In some cases, it will be necessary to make these changes to stay in business. 

A shift is lurking just around the corner. The way companies send and receive transactions, process payments, and manage data is leading to a heavy reliance on digital mediums. 

Approximately 70% of companies have a digital transformation strategy or are working to develop one. That’s because they know that technology will continue to be the wave of the future.

While the accounting sector may resist change, 93% of financial service providers are among the top industries to adopt digital business strategies. 

Benefits of adopting a future-proof business strategy include:

  • Improving operational efficiencies
  • Meeting challenging client expectations 
  • Reducing operating costs
  • Introduce new revenue streams

Accounting firms can secure their future by adapting to changes in technology throughout their organizations. Tech experts conferred to determine the four most effective ways to future-proof accounting firms.

4 Ways to Future-Proof Your Accounting Firm

Accounting firms can offer their clients (or potential clients) value in more than just the services they provide. Technology gives them the tools to create more suitable and secure methods for clients to access their accounts. 

The right tech stack will allow a firm’s clients the ability to seek out other services, receive reports, manage funds, and other conveniences. Services like PayPal and QuickBooks Payments are excellent examples of the value convenience brings to clients. 

Changing technology is affecting accounting firms of all sizes. This change introduces both risk and opportunity. Organizations that fail to adapt face a decline in revenue. Those that future-proof their firms can work more efficiently, acquire more clientele, and offer more high-value specialized services.

What does it take to get an accounting firm future-ready? It’s easy to say a firm must become future-proof. It is quite another to know what that takes. These four strategies will help any accounting firm make the transition to becoming a modern firm, ready for whatever the future entails.

1. Stay in the Loop

The first step to future-proofing an accounting firm is to know what’s trending. CPAs and accounting firm managers should stay in the loop by continuously reading accounting-specific articles with the latest news on accounting tech, trends, tax laws, and client advisory services (to name a few).

Other ways to stay informed on industry-specific news include:

  • Attending conferences
  • Listening to (and learning from) industry leaders
  • Connect with successful organizations
  • Collaborate with industry peers

Becoming a modern accounting firm requires research, involving staff and clients, and transitioning slowly. By speaking to others and being well-read on accounting-related topics, firms can leverage this information to ensure a smooth transition.

2. Identify, Prioritize, and Decide

When looking to future-proof, an accounting firm must evaluate its inefficiencies, inconsistencies, roadblocks, aggravations, and opportunities for improvement. A firm can identify its strengths and weaknesses (in regard to technology) by asking the right questions:

  • What worked well during the busy season?  
  • What did not work?  
  • Were there frustrations, and if so, what were they?  
  • Were there issues with the transition to a work-from-home model?  
  • Were there bottlenecks, and if so, what were they? 

Firms must prioritize the most significant technical issues and make realistic goals to resolve them. Create due dates for these goals to ensure everything (and everyone) remains on track.

That will enable the firm’s decision-makers to commit to what tasks must get done, who will be responsible for each task, and when each one will get done.

3. Automate Processes

It’s 2022 and some accounting firms are still using slow, manual, outdated processes in their daily operations. However, accounting firms are making the digital transformation more so now than in previous years.

Automating tasks is more efficient, reduces errors, and frees up staff to focus on client care. There are plenty of software options that can automate repetitive processes, like:

  • Bookkeeping
  • Payroll
  • Invoices
  • Proposals
  • Accounts payable/receivable

Automation software should digitize tedious problems. They should be cloud-based, easy to use, and client-friendly. When shopping for automation software, buyers should check customer reviews and evaluate specs to ensure the software can meet the needs of the accounting firm.

4. Migrate to the Cloud

Cloud migration is an essential element of a firm’s digital transformation. When it comes to prioritizing technology projects to work on during the off-peak season, migrating to the cloud should be on the top of any firm’s list if they have not done so already. 

As younger generations enter the workforce, they join the 41% of workers who prefer to work remotely. Migrating to the cloud makes it easier for companies to offer remote work schedules and hybrid models. 

The top three benefits of cloud migration include:

  • Infrastructure scalability: Seasonal businesses can scale according to the firm’s workload. Incorporate more or less computing power as needed
  • System accessibility: Every team member can access essential documents, systems, files, and applications no matter where they are working. That enables firms to enhance collaboration, processes, and communications.
  • Data security: Cloud-based data servers are more secure than data center servers. They offer the most data security available.

A Future-Ready Accounting Firm Requires Tech Gurus

The future is unpredictable. Yet, experts can predict significant changes in the accounting industry based on analytics, best use-cases, and historical and statistical data.

Innovations in technology lead the way in running a modern and future-ready accounting firm. Accounting and finance are complicated fields that can be challenging to navigate. Trying to understand and organize an IT strategy to help future-proof the firm can be overwhelming.

People trust their accountants to manage their most sensitive information. Accounting professionals need IT specialists they can trust to manage the transition into becoming a modern firm. 

At Tech Guru, we know what it takes to be a modern, future-ready firm, and we are here to help your firm make the transition.

Is your firm’s IT infrastructure future-ready? Download our free Identifying, Prioritizing & Deciding on Tech Priorities worksheet today to find out.