At first glance, it appears that there aren’t many bright spots for growth for accounting practices today.
For starters, look at the state of tax preparation. More and more clients are buying "do-it-yourself" tax programs and doing their tax returns themselves. Undoubtedly, the market for this service is shrinking.
What about client accounting? It's become a low-margin commodity service, thanks to the most widely used "do-it-yourself" accounting systems sold directly to small businesses. These pieces of software have taken control of many accountants' time and processes. Clients buy the software, but most don't know a thing about accounting, so they end up making bookkeeping messes. Professional accountants like you have to spend hours cleaning up those messes before they can do their professional work. You became an accounting professional so that you could add value to your clients' businesses, and give them the crucial business advice they need. But current circumstances make it difficult – if not impossible – do that.
If we look closely, we uncover a disturbing reality – and the reason that accountants have lost control of their core services (tax and accounting).
While technology has undoubtedly brought in tremendous benefits to accountants, it's also the cause of the diminished control that accountants now have over their core services, and of the marginalization of accounting practices.
The "do-it-yourself" (DIY) accounting systems and tax programs are products of the PC era. DIY accounting systems took control of accounting away from accountants, and DIY tax programs have taken a big bite out of the tax preparation business.
Meanwhile, payroll bureaus used the power of mainframe computers to capture payroll processing services from accountants. The tools accountants had in the 1980's and 1990's were no match for the power of these mainframe computers.
If accountants continue on the same path and keep surrendering more and more of their territory to the ever-increasing intrusion of external forces, the prospects for a brighter future for accountants will keep getting dimmer.
But fortunately, unlike previous technologies, new technological advances have created tremendous potential for accountants to recapture a good amount of business they had lost to external forces.
And that's not all. These technological advances have also created billions of dollars' worth of new opportunities for accountants.
The revolutionary cloud technology that has transformed so many aspects of our lives in sweeping ways has the potential to completely transform the accounting profession and help you revamp your practice.
Ready to learn more? Download our white paper today.
In this white paper, we'll review the major challenges accountants face in accounting today. These obstacles include:
- Time spent on non-billable (or non-productive) tasks. This includes barriers like fixing client bookkeeping errors, managing different versions of software, and sending files and paper back and forth with your clients.
- Significant inefficiencies in client accounting, thanks to the reactive role that accountants play in current "do-it-yourself" accounting systems created for small businesses.
- Diminished perceived importance of your services. When clients use these "do-it-yourself" accounting systems, they believe that they have done most of the work. They get the wrong impression that, as an accountant, you essentially add just little value over what they have accomplished using a piece of software.
- Difficulty in differentiating your firm.
Then we'll explain why, despite these challenges, we are confident that the future for accounting practices is actually very bright. We'll show you how certain types of cloud technology can help you overcome these challenges. Then we will discuss five exciting growth opportunities created by the cloud and other new developments. These trends have the potential to add billions of dollars in revenue to accounting practices over the next five years. These opportunities include:
- Regaining control of accounting and strengthening your client relationships.
- Making your client accounting work 30 – 50% more profitable.
- Becoming an indispensable "virtual CFO" to your clients.
- Turning a service you may have considered "no gain, all pain" into one that can be "all gain, no pain" for your practice.
- Offering a complete accounting service – without additional staff or overhead.
The reality is there is no lack of opportunities for proactive accountants. Download our white paper to learn how to start tapping your practice's true potential today.