The 13th Annual Rosenberg IT Roundtables, which focuses on today’s digital trends and technologies transforming accounting firms, recently concluded its hybrid on-premises and virtual event.
I (Roman Kepczyk, Director of Firm Technology Strategy) led the sessions; keep reading for my key takeaways.
The expectation of when we will be “Post-COVID” varied significantly depending on what part of the country participants lived in and the local views on mandates during the pandemic. While more personnel are getting vaccinated, variants and the winter season could be significant wild cards.
Accounting firms aren’t prioritizing security … until there is a breach that hits home. Ransomware continues to be a lucrative criminal business with a low risk of being caught which is driving growth in ransomware attacks. Hacker groups are increasingly becoming specialized and targeting victims not only for ransom but for the client data that can be monetized whether or not the ransom is paid.
Firm growth is being driven by Client Accounting and Advisory Services (CAAS). COVID opened the door to providing advisory services via PPP and the CAREs Act. Firms should take this opportunity to formalize their advisory services with focused training and educate both clients and internal firm personnel on their ability to do so.
Applications for tax and assurance automation allow firms to capture client data digitally throughout today’s practice. There have been significant advances in the modernization of portal, workflow and eSignature tools, including integration with existing applications.
Adopting remote work and collaboration will be one of COVID’s legacy impacts on the modern business environment. Personnel from both firms and clients have seen the benefits, and the technology is finally robust enough to encompass the vast majority of personnel. Firms should standardize remote work equipment as well as provide ongoing training on the use of these tools.
The cloud, digital transformation, remote work, and security have a significant impact on the information technology that firms are adopting. Next year, we expect accounting firms to standardize on Windows 10 PCs, equip employees with firm-managed and secured devices, and prioritize employees’ remote setups. Even before COVID, the transition of applications to the cloud had a measurable impact on reducing internal IT staffing requirements.
Blockchain and artificial intelligence will be future disrupters once their capabilities have been harnessed seamlessly within applications that firms can realistically utilize, which is still a few years away.
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