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2018 Trends in the Accounting Industry that Will Affect Small Business Owners

The business industry is changing faster than ever. The role of technology in accounting and other business processes has sped up the changes that can occur. Are you keeping up with the trends? If you are falling behind in important things in your business, then you might be setting your company up for failure in the future.

As we looked at the trends for the New Year, it seems as though the accounting industry will continue to follow a similar path that was traveled in 2017. But, there are definitely some new things that could be coming online this year.

At Easier Accounting, we always work hard to stay ahead of the industry trends, to ensure that our customers have the latest information. When you choose our team for your outsourced accounting services, you can rest assured to know that we provide the most relevant information in the industry. Our job is to make sure that your company is keeping up with the trends.

Here is an overview of some of the accounting trends that we anticipate in 2018:

Cloud Accounting Software

Now that the internet is such an integral part of our world, many tools are available which can help with your efforts. It makes sense to leverage these tools if they can help to boost the bottom line or improve your results.

Most companies have already transitioned to accounting software programs that use the cloud for the database and information storage. But, the slow-adopters are now seeing that they are missing the boat on some of the features that are available. Companies that haven’t made the transition yet will see the benefits of jumping on board this year.

Reduced Paperwork

Even though many people have been using online tools, they still often manage a filing cabinet of paperwork. Is it possible to run a business without having stacks of invoices, order forms, and pay documentation? Yes, it is possible… and paperwork is on its way out.

Papers can’t be avoided completely. But, technology and automation are making it easier to get rid of the filing cabinets. As business owners get more comfortable with the online management and filing options, it increases the likelihood that they will let go of the need to keep the paper copies.

In fact, many accounting software programs now use Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology. This feature can scan a page and create a digital result. The technology can identify numbers and letters so that the information can be filed automatically. The conversion from a page to data helps to reduce the data-entry. For example, you can take a picture of a receipt and have it entered into your transaction register.

Certain originals should always be kept, such as signed contracts or financing applications. But, receipts, paid invoices, and other busy work doesn’t need to be filed and stored. Instead, you can create a digital copy to be filed in the cloud, then shred all of the papers that are cluttering your office.

If you are going to make the transition to a paperless company, then it is essential that you have a good system in place. Not only does your accounting system need to be handled virtually, but you also need to be prepared to manage some of the miscellaneous papers that come through the door. Our team can help you make this transition, to ensure that you don’t miss important details that will impact your company.

Greater Focus on Security

As everything is moving online, there is a greater need to focus on security. Not only is the business technology improving, but so is the hacking technology. Data theft is becoming more common, which means that companies need to rely on a trustworthy provider that will stay ahead of the potential weaknesses in the system.

If you are using accounting software, then make sure that it is a software provider who is offering active updates and servicing to the program. In the situation where a potential weakness might be identified, your software provider will correct the problem.

Security is quickly becoming a major focus in the tech industry. Small and large business owners are demanding unparalleled focus to reduce the risk of a breach. As companies make security a priority, they will naturally attract the customers who are concerned about security as well.

Increase in Outsourcing Services

The number of people engaged in “gig” work is increasing, which means that there are more opportunities for small business owners to outsource tasks as needed. This number continues to rise each year, and we anticipate that outsourcing will play a greater role in 2018.

Business owners are feeling the burden of minimum wage increases as well as the overhead costs of hiring an employee. In addition to salary or wage, it is also necessary to pay for benefits and other job-associated costs.

Instead of hiring employees, businesses are turning to freelancers to access the skills that are needed. Many people find it to be a win-win situation. Contractors love the flexibility of self-employment, while business owners like the savings that are available. Companies can bring on experienced workers without the need to pay a full-time salary.

Accountants are Moving to a Consultant Role

For many years, accounting was needed to keep up the books and crunch the numbers. The manual calculations took time, so it made sense to have a dedicated accounting team to help with the task. Most business owners don’t have the desire to work the numbers, and these accounting services were invaluable to assess the financial health of the company.

Now that accounting software is available, is it necessary for business owners to engage the services of an accountant? Yes! These services are more valuable than ever. Since the accountant doesn’t have to spend as much time on data entry, it frees up their skills to focus on strategy and consulting.

Your accountant will oversee the transactions that are moving through the accounts. At the same time, important reconciliations will be done to catch any potential errors along the way. Finally, an accountant can look at the reports and help with the financial strategy that can lead your company to success in the future.

Accountants aren’t just ticking boxes and entering receipts. These modern services offer unbeatable value for your business. They help with tax strategy, compliance, investment strategies, and more. You can work with your accountant to anticipate future cash flow and evaluate revenue possibilities. These consulting services offer a powerful way for you to up-level your company and reach higher levels of success.

Improved Accounting Reports

As the technology gets better, business owners will benefit from improved accounting reports that show an overview of cash position and other important financial matters. Many people agree that financial reports can be boring. But, a visualization with graphs will make it easier to digest the information.

If you are a visual learner, then you will love to see how the reports are becoming simpler to understand. Color-coding, images, and charts make it easier than ever to visualize the financial changes that are happening in the company. As a result, you will be in a better position to make wise financial decisions for your company.

Your accountant will oversee the generation of these reports, then help you interpret the information that is available. But, many business owners are finding it easier to access the information online. The visual cues on the automated reports simplify the information so that you don’t have to rely on someone else so that you can understand the details.

Changes in the Tax Bill

Some of the recent news headlines have been focused on the changes that are happening on a federal level. This new tax bill has overhauled some of the taxations and the way things are structured for businesses and individuals. Experts in the industry are still working through the details to understand the full implications of these changes.

Are you finding it hard to keep up with the new tax laws? There is no reason why you should spend your free time combing through hundreds of pages in the new tax bill. Instead, you should focus on building your company. Our team makes it a priority to stay current with tax laws that apply to your company. So, we will keep you informed about any changes that might impact your business.

Hire the Right Outsourced Accounting Team

If you aren’t already enjoying the benefits of working with an experienced accounting team, then right now is a great time to contact us. Here at Easier Accounting, we are working hard to provide top-notch services for small business owners and entrepreneurs. Call to talk to us about the ways that we can improve your financial future.

Our services are catered to match the needs of your company. In addition to general accounting, we can also provide tax strategy, ongoing consulting, and more. Easier Accounting makes it possible for you to have the benefits of professional accounting services, without paying the expensive costs of hiring another employee. Call to learn more about the ways that we can help: (888) 620-0770

Top Accounting And Business Trends Making An Impact In 2017

The world of accounting and business finance is changing rapidly in response to technology. Streamlined processes and digital accounting solutions have moved today’s businesses far beyond the realms of manual ledgers and reporting. In its place are far more efficient, productive way of doing business. In this blog post, we are going to focus on the key business trends driving success in 2017.

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Five Accounting And Business Trends For 2017

2017 looks set to be an exciting and promising year for small to medium business owners as they harness all the power modern technology brings to work more efficiently, lower business costs and improve their bottom line. From social media to e-commerce to digital business trends and accounting systems, companies are transforming the way they operate and relate to their clients. Here are the top five business trends we can expect to see develop in 2017.

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  1. Increased collaboration

There is a huge push within the business and accounting worlds to increase collaboration with clients. This is largely as a result of ‘the rise of the Millennials’, the biggest and most influential consumer force the Western world has ever experienced.  This generation of consumers and clients were born between 1982 and 1999 and represent one-fourth of the world’s total population.

They are today’s most lucrative market with an annual expected buying power in excess of $200 billion in 2017. This generation demands transparency and collaboration from the brands they buy from and the businesses they work with. As a result, the business and financial world are embracing meeting and web conferencing services like ClickMeeting, Huddle and tools like Slack in order to instantly and seamlessly communicate with their clients.

  1. Increased use of social media

Businesses are not immune from the huge rise in the popularity of social media. According to Statista, there are 2.3 billion active social media users and more businesses and accountants realize that it’s the way forward to reach a wider community, maintain business partnerships and attract more potential clients. It’s also the ideal way to stay up-to-date with industry news and events.

  1. Increased use of EMV payment security

The migration to EMV (Europay, Mastercard and Visa) payment standards guarantees small businesses and customers against fraud. Protecting the security of your business and its customers should be your number-one priority and EMV ensures you are doing this. Without it going forward, you will lose credibility with your customers and open yourself up to financial risk.

  1. Increased use of Business Intelligence

Business Intelligence (BI) software has historically been used by big business to curate, store and visualize Big Data. But the growth of Internet technology has made it increasingly possible for small businesses to take advantage of this trend of activity to monitor and track their business’s data in real-time with dashboards that integrate with almost every platform – from sales to social media.

  1. Increased use of digital tools and software

Already touched upon with BI, digital technology is changing the world of business and accounting. Cloud technology has changed the way the accounting and financial industry operate and Accenture Research reports that 85% of CFOs say they plan to increase their investment in the cloud in the next two years, and over a third expect the investment to increase by over 25% during that time. Most businesses are already tapping into the benefits of digital business trends and even small businesses are enjoying the benefits of connecting to their business anywhere, anytime.

These benefits include:

  • Improved scalability: Businesses can scale up or scale down their operations and storage needs to suit their situation. Instead of purchasing and installing expensive equipment and software, they can now access this all from the cloud.
  • Reduced IT costs: By accessing the resources of your cloud computing service provider, you no longer have to pay wages for experts, staff on site and the cost of new software upgrades, as are all included in your contract
  • Flexibility of work practices: Digital technology and cloud services enable employees to be more flexible and collaborative in their work practices. They can all work from and amend the same document in real-time, access data from home and connect to their virtual office quickly and easily.

 

Companies like Easier Accounting are already harnessing the benefits that digital technology offers with flexible online accounting solutions that help business improve productivity and enjoy significant cost and time-saving advantages.

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

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