Discover the latest accounting trends impacting the financial world in 2017.

Accounting Trends: The Shift From Ledgers To Business Insights

The accounting industry is evolving rapidly in response to advances in both technology and software. Tools like ledgers and Microsoft Excel are making way for accounting solutions that are streamlining business processes and improving efficiency. This blog post will outline the latest accounting trends that are changing the accounting industry in 2017.

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An increased focus on customer service

Clients are the lifeblood of every accounting firm, and the accountant-client relationship is evolving. In the past, infrequent one-on-one consultations were common. However, today’s clients expect an ever-present relationship where they can consult and engage with their accountants on a daily basis. One of 2017’s accounting trends indicates an increased use of digital collaborative solutions like Skype For Business, Huddle, and Slack, where clients and accountants can connect daily to review financial issues. Accountants who are agile and able to deal with their clients’ financial requests quickly are the ones who will make headway in a world where clients expect service, support, and added value.

 Technology integrations for greater efficiency

Integrating existing accounting processes with new and emerging technology is essential for the profitability of any business. Using modern accounting technology, businesses can integrate all aspects of a business – from banking and payroll to bill paying and reporting. Strategic software programs make data and information available through a common central database that is shared with all functional areas of the business, including finance, accounting, sales, and marketing. The result is increased speed and response.

Embracing digital mobile opportunities

In a report on ‘future preparedness’ by CCH Group that looking at over 500 businesses, nearly 80% of “very prepared” firms stated that digital mobility opportunities will play a “very significant” role in their business within the next five years, making it one of the biggest accounting trends. Companies embracing digital mobile platforms are already seeing reduced capital costs and increased employee productivity. Freed from the constraints of the office, accountants are able to service their clients better and respond immediately to their requests. Digital mobile accounting offers accountants real-time advantages, including on-demand data and information. This real-time information access allows accountants to respond to and service their clients more efficiently – even if they’re on the road or in another country.

Using social media as a business tool

Sixty nine percent of “very prepared” firms have already implemented social media as a business tool. According to Statista, there are 2.3 billion active social media users and, as of 2016, 78% of the United States population has a social networking profile. Statistics like these show the importance for accountants to adopt social media strategies to reach out and engage with their clients. By publishing relevant information, accountants can build credibility and trust with a wider client base.

Firms that have a strong social media presence report greater client satisfaction. They also successfully attract potential clients and win new business. Social listening is another important aspect of social media. An accounting today article highlighted the importance of “listening” to what clients are tweeting and posting on Facebook, and then making informed connections with them.

Leveraging the benefits of Optical Character Recognition

Optical Character Recognition (OCR) turns images into readable and editable text. Accountants can now take a photograph of whiteboards after a strategic planning session and then quickly convert the handwritten image into organized, typewritten notes. OCR spells the end of the hand-written receipt. Accountants can now upload these receipts straight into an online accounting platform to extract relevant text and data.

Doing all accounting from the cloud

The shift has taken a while, but cloud-based accounting technology and software are here to stay. It’s where the future of accounting lies, enabling accountants to access real-time data and financial information anywhere, anytime. Bank feeds and data can now integrate in real time, allowing both accountant and clients the opportunity to view, edit, and add notes. Accountants can also download transactions directly from a client’s bank and credit card accounts to compose accurate statements and invoices. Add this to enhanced security, lower maintenance costs, and reduced software costs, and it’s easy to see why cloud accounting platforms are one of the biggest accounting trends.

Companies like Easier Accounting are harnessing the power of accounting technology to offer flexible online accounting services that help businesses improve productivity, boost efficiency, and save costs.

For more information on the top trends affecting the business and finance world in 2017, download our guide:

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