The business world is unpredictable and ever changing. The accounting industry is no exception. Tax accounting is a noble and highly reputable profession that is at a pivotal point in its history. What’s the next big thing in the industry? The future is looking bright… or maybe smart is more appropriate?
Technology in Tax Accounting
In order for any line of business to thrive, it is important to change with the times and stay relevant. Today, our personal and professional lives seem to be driven by one thing… technology. To give you an idea, the average person looks at their phone nearly 100 times in a day. Smart technology has become not just a valuable resource but something we depend on. With technology growing smarter by the day, tax accounting is using these technological advances to their benefit to further their business. Here a few primary ways technology is advancing the industry:
- Artificial Intelligence: Artificial intelligence can be used to help automate the mundane tasks of accounting. Some of this automation can be used in bookkeeping, reporting, or data entry.
- Artificial intelligence cannot only take figures and provide a solution, but it can look for trends and provide beneficial interpretations of data. Unlike a human entering and interpreting data, artificial intelligence allows for guaranteed accuracy with a push of a button. A human can also come to the same conclusions, however, it wouldn’t be nearly as efficient as using AI technology and there would also be greater room for error.
- Utilizing artificial intelligence will also allow the tax accountant more time to handle tasks that technology cannot. For example networking and servicing the client face to face.
- Cloud Usage: The cloud refers to internet based storing and sharing. More and more accounting firms are utilizing cloud storage. This takes away the need for specific software installations and updates on each computer in the accounting firm. Instead, the business and the clients can access their information through an internet based application. This allows for access anytime, anywhere, for anyone (anyone who is authorized at least).
- Cloud usage is typically safer and more secure than desktop based programs.
- Cloud usage also offers more security through added features.
- Blockchain Technology: Blockchain technology is among some of the newest. It is a record keeping system for bitcoin and cryptocurrency.
- Blockchain is starting to be associated with accounting more frequently because it is essentially a record keeping system of debits and credits of bitcoin. This allows CPAs to audit and reconcile client information in a more efficient and accurate manner.
The Next Big Thing
What is the next big thing in tax accounting then? Essentially, technology. With studies showing the accounting industry demand is expected to increase over the next ten years, it is crucial for CPAs and accountants to keep up with the times in order to stay relevant and successful. How can they ensure this?
- Hire the Right Talent-With todays dependence on technology, it is important to not only hire qualified tax accountants, but people who are tech savvy. Many firms and businesses are hiring IT staff in addition to accountants. Some firms are also looking at candidates who have majored or minored in a technology field. Hiring people with these tech skills will benefit the business as it continues to advance well into the future.
- Be Flexible-It is crucial that accountants are willing to change with these unpredictable times. As technology continues to increase, the demand from the client will also. Being able to meet the demands and needs of the client through a technological advanced manner will result in more business.
- Get Creative-As technology increases, many of the tasks accountants once handled such as calculating, reporting, and auditing will slowly be transferred to artificial intelligence. A huge pro to this, is it will free up a lot of time accountants would have spent doing these manual processes. A potential con to this however, is the fear of artificial intelligence putting accountants out of business. In order to prevent that from happening, accountants and CPAs will have to be creative in their services offered. One thing artificial intelligence will never be able to replicate is the personal touch that a human can. Humans can interpret data, draw conclusions, and most importantly, provide advice. Many clients still want to be able to speak with a human when needed and get that personalized service they wouldn’t otherwise receive.
- Continued Education-Most accountants and all CPAs continue their education each year by taking relevant courses to maintain their certifications. Many accountants are also taking courses on technology to stay current with the times and learn how to implement the technology within their businesses. By learning the current tips and tricks of tech, accountants can ensure they are always utilizing the most up date and advanced tools to assist their clients.
With technology on the rise, many industries including tax accounting are looking at new ways to stay relevant while utilizing these new advances. While much of the business world is unpredictable, there is one thing we can guarantee, the next big thing in tax accounting is definitely the increase in technology and artificial intelligence. Not only will tax accounting become more efficient and accurate through the use of AI, but it will be more accessible and secure. Although this could be daunting for those in the industry, the assistance of technology is actually a positive thing that can attract more clients. The future of tax accounting is definitely looking