Frequently I hear that cloud technology and anytime/anywhere accounting is here now, it’s great, it’s what all accountants should be using and encouraging their clients to use, and this new technology will free the accountant to do what he or she was actually trained to do. But exactly what is that? Many accountants, particularly small practitioners, actually were trained to do compliance work – trial balances, write-up work, tax return preparation. Automate these services and what have you got left?
As we move into an era of technology-driven accounting practices, where much of our compliance work is performed by software and we have the ability to connect with our clients’ financial records in real time, how will we restructure our practices so that we are still relevant and providing great value to our clients?
If more and more of our work is being automated, is there still a place for the small accounting practitioner? Will small- to medium-sized business clients think they can do all of their accounting and tax work on their own and no longer require the services of practicing accountants? Should accountants encourage their clients to jump on board with the latest technology, or should they ask clients to hold back so there’s more work for the accountant to do? That doesn’t seem right.
To help untangle this issue, CPA Practice Advisor sought input from two dynamic members of our accounting community: Rod Drury, CEO of Xero accounting software for small businesses, and Jennifer Warawa, vice president and general manager of Sage Accountant Solutions at Sage North America. These two leaders in the profession not only discussed how the accounting profession is changing but provided sound advice for how a typical accounting firm can take steps to truly benefit from the changes that technology is providing.
Meanwhile we are moving forward with our deep drives into two hot areas: A Year in the Life of a SALT Accountant and A Year in the Life of a Payroll Accountant. If you have an existing SALT or Payroll practice or are planning on adding these services to your client offerings, we’ve got fresh ideas and September checklists for you and information to help you better connect with your clients.
See inside September 2014
2014 Review of Professional Payroll Systems
The Affordable Care Act and changes to the minimum wage in many states and for many federal contractors has made payroll compliance more complex than ever.
How to Turn Conflict into a Strategic Asset
Conflict. Whether it is related to decisions about firm management, technology or personnel, most of us try to avoid it like the plague. After all, wouldn’t life be easier if we could just make decisions in a vacuum and not worry about what others thought?