Is Technology One of the Biggest Challenges for Accountants?

Technology disruption is a buzzword across industries right now–especially in the accounting realm. Yet a recent survey cited by Pymnts.com shows that accountants understand technology disruption as a major challenge but very few are actually addressing it.

The numbers

Workflow management is an area of specific concern, yet 43 percent of respondents do not yet use workflow management software. Additional tech concerns for small businesses are the rates in which they are adopting new technology, with only 33 percent of sole practitioners and 26 percent of small firms having updated their tax software in the past 5 years.

Even more telling, only 12 percent of sole practitioners consider themselves “very likely” to embrace cloud-based accounting; the number climbs to 33 percent for accounting firms with over 11 or more partners. While a sizable chunk (nearly 30 percent) report that their technology and training budgets exceed 3 percent of their annual revenue, 25 percent reported having no budget for technology and training at all.

The reasons

While it is unclear on a holistic level why accountants are seemingly not prioritizing technology training in an environment that is gearing up for disruption, there are a few possibilities. Among them: cost and fear.

Implementing new technology is a costly and time consuming endeavor. While the overall cost of implementing and maintaining cloud software provides a significant decrease in IT and infrastructure costs, there are upfront costs associated with making the switch. For companies without robust budgets, it may not seem cost-effective to scrap a system that still works in favor of a new, riskier system–even if it will save money in the long run.

And that brings us to fear. Cloud accounting software isn’t “new,” but it hasn’t been around long enough to prove itself–from some accountants’ perspectives, anyway. Before jumping head first, decision makers want to be sure they are making a sound investment with demonstrable ROI.

Many accountants are naturally inclined to risk aversion, which could explain why technology is less widely embraced in this industry compared to others.

The bottom line

One thing is clear: staying safe and adhering to your comfort zone isn’t going to give your business the edge in this market. A step towards embracing new technology could be the saving grace for your organization or firm as traditional accountants are losing their appeal. To stay relevant in the industry, embracing and learning technology is just as important as capitalizing on strategic and advisory services that can be provided as value-adds to loyal customers.

FYIsoft can help get you there

Technology disruption is coming. Don’t be on the wrong side of it. Contact FYIsoft today to learn how a move to the cloud can benefit you.