Last week, the annual Accountex event was held in Boston. As a local company, we were happy to sponsor the event and host multiple key speaking sessions. In these sessions we identified and discussed several emerging trends in the accounting industry. Will Yapp, Right Network’s VP of Sales, Marketing, and Business Development spoke alongside Tracie Baliey of Elliot Davis on the “Competitive Advantages of Cloud-Enabling your QuickBooks Desktop“. Rachel Krug, GM of Transaction Pro and Becky Riffis, Strategic Partner Manager of Bill.com also spoke, discussing “Enhancing the Functionality of QBD with an Application Ecosystem”.
Throughout the floor there were several themes of emerging trends that stood out over the two-day event.
Anytime, anywhere access
Firstly, the benefits of anytime, anywhere access is a prevalent theme. Many conversations pertained to streamlining services provided in the accounting and bookkeeping industry. Each booth was discussing the cloud and the convenience of having company and client access simultaneously. The cloud provides customers with easy access to information they need anywhere they are. This benefit allows the client and firm flexibility to enter data into their system as it becomes available, as well as the firm to offer advice on a more regular basis to the client. Being able to access files in real time with clients is just one of the many benefits of the cloud.
Security is more important than ever
Similarly, multiple speakers received questions regarding liability . As more firms make the transition to online services there is an underlying fear. In this online age, there is fear of hackers, loss of data, and liability surrounding client’s files. The cloud takes those liabilities that used to lie solely on the firm and ensures that your files are safe. Whether your fear is hackers, a natural disaster, loss of data or more, the cloud serves as your personal guard.
Previously paper-based work flows and in office software meant employees had to be on site, and there was a greater liability for loss or damage of secure documents. With today’s push to streamline work to the cloud, these liabilities and inefficiencies are constantly eliminating. This has been an emerging trend for the past few years and is now making a push to get the industry secure, efficient, and eco-friendly. Paperless can also be considered a cost-effective solution to the alternative. Securing you and your clients, and saving everyone money.
Consequently technology providers are investing more in artificial intelligence and machine learning to automate tasks. The value to the CPA is an ability to increase productivity and operate more efficiently. With time saved they can invest more in their clients and position themselves as a trusted advisor. It is expected that by 2020 accounting tasks, as well as tax, payroll, audits and banking will be fully automated using AI- based technologies.
Have these themes been questions in the back of your mind? With these new innovations would your firm benefit from the cloud? These ideas and many others were in constant discussion at the conference. Connections flourished with new and familiar faces at the after party co-hosted with ADP, Bill.com and Right Networks. We are pleased to connect with all on emerging trends in the industry. We can’t wait to see what Accountex 2019 has to offer.
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