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3 Visionary Trends to Consider in 2020

Read more, exercise, take up a new hobby — you've got New Year's resolutions for yourself, but what about for your accounting firm? With 2020 fast approaching and a new decade on the horizon, now's the perfect time to position your firm for success in ...

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Read more, exercise, take up a new hobby — you’ve got New Year’s resolutions for yourself, but what about for your accounting firm? With 2020 fast approaching and a new decade on the horizon, now’s the perfect time to position your firm for success in the new year. Here are some of the biggest workplace trends to watch for in 2020 — and what you can do to prepare.

Diversity is an increasing priority

Workforce demographics are changing, so many businesses will be looking to improve their own diversity levels in 2020 to keep up. According to a study by Deloitte, companies that created inclusive workplace cultures were found to be:

●    2X more likely to meet or exceed financial targets

●     3X more likely to be high performing

●     6X more likely to be agile and innovative

●     8X more likely to achieve better business outcomes

That’s a lot your firm could potentially gain by prioritizing diversity and inclusion (D&I) in the new year, so make it a top focus if this is an area where you need to improve. Improving D&I starts with hiring, but it’s not just about the approach you take to actively target new talent. Even the language you use in your job postings can have an effect on the types of candidates you attract. For instance, one study found that more “masculine wording in job advertisements leads to less anticipated belongingness and job interest among women.”

In terms of building a better culture for the employees you already have, remember that change starts at the top. When workers see a diverse team of leaders, they see their own possible pathways to advancement and a concrete daily reminder that your organization doesn’t just walk the walk when it comes to inclusion.

AI and automation: now’s the time

A recent research report on the future of accounting concluded that many accounting tasks are expected to be fully automated by next year. Setting digital transformation at the top of the docket for 2020 can help your CPAs adapt faster. There are plenty of processes that can be automated to improve day-to-day efficiency. Employees will be glad for the improvement as it will allow them to spend more time building and deepening client relationships. Another great example, cloud accounting, for instance, empowers your clients to access their data faster and in real-time, too. Automating bookkeeping and accounts-payable processes could save you time and money at a rate of about $16 per invoice and one less hour of work per day. That’s more time back for your CPAs to focus on advising their clients strategically and providing value in areas you previously didn’t have enough bandwidth to address completely. How visionary!

Tech takes over employer branding

In an era of social media and the rise of employer review sites, businesses can no longer sit on the sidelines and still expect to attract and retain top talent. Ninety-four percent of job seekers said they would likely apply for a job at a company that actively managed its employer brand, and 72 percent said they spend at least one hour researching a company before deciding to apply. Technology has enabled businesses to spread their brand messages farther and convey them more vividly. Expect competing employers to continue branching out into new channels like Instagram or experimenting with different kinds of content to tell their stories like day-in-the-life videos or employee spotlights.

To get your firm up to speed, conduct an audit of your own employer brand. Scour review sites, and read what people are saying on social media to get an idea of the public’s sentiment toward your organization. If you see negative reviews, take the time to respond correctly, as managing your brand is just as important as building it. Identify areas that you could address or emphasize more clearly, and start building a messaging strategy around them.

Of course, these three trends won’t be the only things going on in the world of work next year, but you can bet they’ll be among the most prevalent. Keep these suggestions in mind and follow the guidelines here, and you’ll be sure to keep your firm competitive in the new year.


As group president, Jodi oversees the field organization and provides strategic direction for Randstad Accounting & Finance, Professionals, Life Sciences and Tatum. With more than 20 years’ experience in the staffing industry, Jodi’s entrepreneurial drive and strong business acumen have enabled her to consistently increase revenues, grow profits and deliver ROI. Her breadth of expertise spans team building, strategic planning and execution, M&A, branding, social media and multi-generational leadership.


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