Forget the traditional audit where a team of accountants spend weeks at a client to produce a document that’s out of date and expensive. The future value add in accounting is all about advising (moving from obsolete accounting systems), predicting (using new tools to guide clients), coaching and consulting on the best path forward, not looking backwards via a traditional audit.

Future audits will be continuous 24/7, machine driven and only key anomalies (once false positives are filtered out) will be called out for human intervention. Cost of audits will significantly decrease as a result of this automation, so accounting needs to re-invent itself…….getting clients out of QuickBooks and into the cloud with Sage Intacct is a first step in moving to a more tech driven accounting presence.

Technology is going to change accounting’s role.

Clients need accounting professionals to be more visionary and proactive, especially in advising on ERP/accounting systems. Staying with outdated systems may seem comfortable but it’s a big risk in today’s fast moving market. Standing still will soon become the worst option. Key financial staff not having the right information today is an invitation for poor decision making, with a limited window to recover, if at all.

Accounting professionals need to coach clients on the value of analyzing data and trends via custom dashboards by role that affect their specific area or industry. Only by filtering out the data noise and focusing on the key drivers and trends will clients begin to affect their business on a positive basis moving forward.

Here are the major trends coming now and the next 36 months:

  • Cloud applications will begin to dominate, now is the time to think about moving from older technology like QuickBooks and into a cloud solution like Sage Intacct.
  • Accounting firms will be hiring more tech – data science, big data type experts.
  • Downward pressure on tax and audit services as AI automation tools/robots take market share.
  • CPA’s will need to leverage these new technologies and tech staff in order to be successful in the future.

Sage Intacct on the cloud can start the process of moving to current technology, it has four releases per year to keep up with market changes. The ability to shift ahead is now more relevant due to today’s speed of change and need for quality information to filter out all the noise.