With such an emphasis on technology solutions in today’s accounting climate, accounting professionals’ roles are changing, largely due to the shift towards adopting cloud-based accounting software to handle traditional, manual accounting tasks. As our reliance on cloud-based solutions expands, accounting professionals’ roles are steadily adapting and evolving.
The current climate
Accounting firms are expected to work more efficiently than ever before. The rise of cloud accounting software has enabled accountants to work in new and interesting ways, including the ability for real-time, 24/7 collaboration with clients.
A study by AICPA found that 90 percent of CPAs believe that the delivery of digital business processes to clients will become imperative in the next five years. While this should not be surprising as technology continues to force all industries to evolve and reinvent the wheel, accounting—with all its complexities and intricacies—tends to be forgotten as one of the major fields being transformed by automated technology.
As the cloud is more and more relied upon as a source of automation of manual tasks, the demand increases for accountants to shift to advisory roles, as well as roles with much more focus on customer service.
Empowering and growing accounting professionals
By equipping accounting professionals with intuitive, easy-to-learn tools that enable them to complete their work without the costly and time-consuming intervention of IT staff, accounting professionals can be empowered in their modern roles. However, if the chosen software is too complex, the result will be lower adoption rates, decreased productivity, higher turnover, and the risk of revenue loss.
AccountingWeb suggests that cloud software will allow accounting professionals to perform daily tasks such as:
- Setting up a shared folder for collaboration with clients
- Sharing/granting access to documents
- Accelerating onboarding processes with clients
By encouraging the use of cloud technology, accounting firms can afford to bring on new clients, increasing profit margins. Employee productivity also increases as the manual task load rests on the cloud-based solutions being implemented.
Solutions like those discussed above are an excellent start for any accounting firm, but deployment cannot come at the cost of security breaches or failure to comply with regulations.
While some accounting professionals will be affected by the shift towards automation, the accounting profession is on track to grow, allowing its workforce to increase its skills to manage more clients at a time and focus on strategic and advisory roles.