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Future-Proofing your CPA Firm: 4 Tips for Anticipating Trends and Preparing for Change

Learn how to leverage digital technology like AI and blockchain and analyze competitors to stay ahead in the industry.

Stacey Howard //June 13, 2023//

Future-Proofing your CPA Firm: 4 Tips for Anticipating Trends and Preparing for Change

Learn how to leverage digital technology like AI and blockchain and analyze competitors to stay ahead in the industry.

Stacey Howard //June 13, 2023//

Looking back at the past few years, it is bewildering to consider the concept of “future-proofing” a CPA firm. Yet, the unexpected impact of the pandemic has disrupted the field of CPA for years to come, making it challenging to predict what lies ahead. However, there are ways to anticipate the future and develop strategies that mitigate external influences on your firm.

It has become imperative for CPAs to develop anticipation skills, which help drive innovation, prioritize decision-making and enable effective problem-solving for accounting tasks. 

To thrive in the complex business landscape, focus on formulating analytical strategies to capitalize on available resources.

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The emergence of new ways of accounting

According to a report by Deloitte’s Q4 2021 Global CFO Survey, companies are expected to invest more in digital technology and assets to achieve their desired goals compared with the pre-pandemic trend.

That being said, companies that adapted more quickly had an easier time streamlining processes, predicting the future of accountancy, anticipating what their clients may need or expect, and preparing for those trends ahead of time.

Insider Intelligence predicts that the Neobanking sector, which consists of licensed banks conducting operations exclusively online, will experience significant growth, doubling in size by 2026 and causing a transformative impact on the banking industry.

Positive Impact 

  • Real-time collaboration with clients
  • Integrated technology enabling bank feeds and open banking
  • Implement the right strategies for future changes
  • Streamline and enhance practice effectiveness
  • Consolidate real-time data to improve decision-making

Negative Impact

  • Input data into multiple systems and limited data-driven insights
  • Increased cybersecurity risks and data breaches
  • Disruption and resistance from employees due to changes in workflows
  • High upfront costs of new technology implementation and maintenance
  • Reliance on technology can pose challenges during system failures or downtime
  • Potential loss of personal touch with clients due to increased reliance on digital tools

READ: Protect Your Online Business — Minimizing Cybersecurity Risks in a Remote Environment

4 effective ways to future-proof your CPA firm

1. Stay ahead of evolving trends

Trends keep evolving so should CPAs. As a CPA, attending industry conferences or events will help you discover new technologies dominating the market. Here are prominently leveraged technologies:

Artificial Intelligence: AI significantly impacted the accounting sector by automating numerous tasks and increasing efficiency. One prominent tool is ChatGPT, a platform that works per human instruction. 

Blockchain: This technology has taken the fintech world to great heights. Over 50% of payment infrastructure firms have already embraced this game-changing technology in their operations. And the impact? Brace yourself for a projected global GDP growth of nearly $2 billion by 2030. 

Cloud-based Accounting Software:  The flexibility to work from anywhere, anytime, has made cloud computing popular. With its ability to customize unique CPA firm processes and provide data at your fingertips, you can’t avoid using cloud-based software.

Data Analytics: Using data analytics is not new in accounting, but it has become more prevalent today. CPAs process massive amounts of data from multiple sources to operate and so using smart tools to manage, mine, and analyze is crucial. So, invest in tools like Excel, PowerBI, and AI.

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2. Analyze your competitors

As a CPA firm, keeping tabs on what other firms are doing is imperative. A close eye on your competitors can help you understand the industry benchmarks and network with professionals. 

Emerald Publishing’s research reveals that approximately 90% of Fortune 500 companies use a competitive intelligence strategy in their operations. It will help you can gain insights into the following aspects:

  • Unique strengths, weaknesses, and key differentiators.
  • Current position in the market
  • Competitive landscape and opportunities
  • Pricing model against industry benchmarks
  • Competitors’ client base and preferences

3. Outsourcing Solutions

Outsourcing solutions can significantly benefit CPA firms by providing cost-effective resources, freeing up internal staff, streamlining processes and enhancing scalability.

CPA accounting services can enable you to focus on core competencies, improve efficiency, meet client demands effectively and reduce overhead costs.

You also get flexibility, access to advanced technology, and the ability to handle peak workloads without hiring additional full-time staff. CPA firms can optimize operations, drive growth and stay competitive in the evolving accounting industry.

4. Identify and smartly manage risks

Prepare for the unexpected and safeguard your business’s future by taking proactive measures. Start by identifying potential risks of failure in areas such as people, systems, legal compliance, and data security. 

If you rely too heavily on a single person, or a vendor, it can lead to significant problems when they are unavailable. Moreover, address any gaps in your business processes and overlook the critical aspect of data security; losing data can put your business at risk. 

 

Stacey Howard headshotStacey Howard is an accomplished blogger with over a decade of experience in the field of accounting and bookkeeping. With her extensive knowledge and expertise, she has been working as an accountant at a leading outsourced accounting firm, Cogneesol. Throughout her career, she has developed a passion for sharing valuable insights and information on various accounting industries through her engaging and informative write-ups. Her contributions to the accounting community have been widely recognized, making her a sought-after expert in the field.