Accounting plays a key role in the functioning of any business. With global financial crisis in the recent past and a number of businesses expanding on a daily basis, the presence of a strong accounting system is the need for any business.
Over the years there have been a number of changes in the way accounting is carried out. Many accounting and bookkeeping firms are embracing the trends in accounting in order to reshape their business and simplify their work to a great extent. In this article we are going to discuss about the most recent trends that impact accounting.
Watch Out for These Accounting Trends in 2018
We've come a long way from manual bookkeeping to automation and cloud accounting. Most people are also outsourcing their accounting needs in order to completely focus on the task at hand and generating new business. Let's take a moment to talk about the top 5 accounting trends in 2018 and beyond.
1. Cloud Accounting
Most businesses depend on cloud for various operations from data storage to connectivity and reducing business costs. An emerging accounting trend, the Cloud today is being increasingly used to work and enable easy access to world-class infrastructure without the need to spend huge amounts of money on it. Cloud accounting also paves the way for improved collaboration with team members and a better overview of the business' finances.
Cloud Accounting requires a software that runs on servers and connectivity to the internet. The advantages of cloud accounting include -
- It enables use of cloud-based software from any device using any internet connection.
- Cloud accounting allows small business owners to stay connected with accountant as well as data.
- Cloud software can be integrated with a wide number of add-ons.
- It removes the necessity to run applications over a desktop.
- Using cloud is a secure way to protect a business' intellectual property in case of loss of physical assets such as laptops (unless the login credentials to the online account are available).
Automation of accounting is a trend that can save businesses a great amount of time when it comes to accounting. It is slowly eliminating the need for manual data entry and saving businesses a great amount of production hours. Automation in accounting is intended to reduce the burden of manual bookkeeping and accounting, and use that time to deal with actual real time accounting issues. Although automation and accounting software may seem like a threat for accountants, they aren't going to replace accountants in the near future. Automating accounting is extremely beneficial for entrepreneurs and small business owners.
In addition to automation in accounting, automating their marketing solutions is also trending today. The tools available make it easier to take advantage of existing client information in a cost-effective way, to benefit both the accounting firms as well as their customers. From sending newsletters with marketing content to videos, articles, and much more, everything is automated. Apart from simplifying the work process, automating marketing also provides for increased business and referrals, and decreases loss of valuable time.
3. Social Media Strategy
Most businesses use social media to create a presence for their business online, and reach a wider audience. Using social media strategy for accounting is also gaining popularity this year as business owners are becoming more active on social media. This trend in accounting is not just beneficial for accounting firms but also for the clients who are able to gather information themselves, which provides clarity when it comes to choosing the services provided by an accounting firm. There are many benefits of using social media for accounting, they include -
- No cost on usage
- Communicating with millions of people
- Increased business exposure and visibility
- Increased website traffic
- Providing insight in areas of accounting expertise
4. Collaborative Accounting
Accounting is not just seeing trends in software and automation, but also in terms of collaborating with their clients. Collaborative accounting may not be a new term at all, although a new breed in collaborative accounting involves using the internet and trending technology to work together in real-time regardless of their location. For example: CPAs can view information of their clients' transactions and make changes where ever necessary using cloud software and communicate the same using instant chat platforms such as Slack and HipChat.
Collaborative accounting is the future of accounting. It doesn't necessarily occur only between clients and CPAs, it applies to a plethora of services available today. A sale could be made by a sales person sitting at a different location using a mobile device or tablet and issues related to the same could be resolved by a manager at a different location. All that needs to be incorporated is the technology required, tools, and portals in order to carry out smooth flow information between the collaborators.
One of the biggest trends in accounting is outsourcing finance and accounting services. Outsourcing accounting most importantly enables businesses focus on their primary business rather than building an accounting department. Outsourcing accounting services can help businesses cut down costs, and also reduce risk of fraud and provide access to the services of dedicated professionals in the field. Read further to learn more about the advantages of outsourcing accounting services -
- Access to a team of experts in accounting
- Collaborative accounting has a number of benefits
- Scalability of business
- Access to top systems
- Enough time to focus on growth and expansion of business
- Keeping an eye on your cash flow
- Complete control over business accounts