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Meta description tag: Trends gain traction for a reason. If you’re an accountant, bookkeeper, or tax preparer, here are 5 new accounting trends that are marking a shift in 2024.
The financial landscape continues to evolve at a rapid pace. Accounting is one field that’s undergoing a huge transformative shift, sped along by technological advancements and the changing demands of an ever-evolving industry.
Now, in 2024, accountants find themselves at an intersection of tradition and innovation, navigating a dynamic accounting environment where failing to adapt can mean getting left behind.
So, it’s a better time than any to look at five key accounting trends that are reshaping the industry in 2024 — each one a major new influence on how financial information is processed and how accounting services are delivered.
5 accounting trends to watch in 2024
Trends gain traction for a reason; they emphasize industry developments and new ways to do things, often with significant benefits.
Accounting is a profession that’s constantly evolving thanks to such trends — and it’s fair to say that, in 2024, paying attention to them is more important than ever for anyone involved in the industry.
1. Remote, cloud-based accounting
The global shift towards remote work, due to the increased convenience and flexibility it offers, has permeated the accounting profession.
Accountants, bookkeepers, and tax preparers are now taking full advantage of accounting practice management software and other cloud-based collaboration tools, which help them provide their services seamlessly.
These solutions offer real-time communication, data sharing, and more, virtually (pun intended) eliminating the need to carry out accounting services face to face.
However, the shift to remote accounting isn’t without its challenges — one of which includes data security and privacy. As the accounting industry adapts to this digital transformation, the need for robust and reliable accounting software that protects sensitive financial information is a top priority, leading us to our next trend.
2. Cybersecurity and Data Privacy
With an increasing reliance on software, the accounting industry faces an unprecedented risk of cyber threats and data breaches — making cybersecurity an important focus area for accountants in 2024.
As a result, accounting software is now playing a major role in safeguarding and protecting sensitive financial data through advanced encryption, multi-factor authentication, and more.
This is not only so accountants and accounting firms can maintain the trust and confidence of their clients, but also to keep their reputations intact.
In fact, with deep learning algorithms that are capable of creating mind-blowing deep fakes, even face recognition and voice recognition might not be as safe as they once were. It’s the reason behavioral biometrics, technology that can analyze user behavior to distinguish it from cybercriminal activity, is a trending market currently estimated at $1.67 billion — with expectations to hit $5.66 billion by 2028.
3. Client advisory services (CAS)
Client advisory services, also known as CAS, are financial services that go beyond “traditional” accounting, bookkeeping, and tax preparation.
A few examples of client advisory services include financial planning, business advisory, tax planning, risk management, and succession planning.
What sets CAS apart from other accounting services is that it’s more personalized and individualized; the client receives specific financial advice, based on individual circumstances, to enhance their financial well-being.
Client advisory services are trending because accounting firms can bill more for these specialized individual services. By providing CAS, accounting firms can also stand out from competitors who are yet to offer it, as many clients may be more inclined to choose firms that offer a full suite of services to meet their growing needs.
Despite that, the level of personalization CAS requires also means it can be more time-consuming for accounting firms, especially when offered on top of other accounting services — which leads us to our next trend.
4. Automated accounting processes
Artificial Intelligence (AI) continues to be a driving force that’s reshaping different industries — accounting included. AI-powered automation, in particular, is a game-changing tool for accounting firms as it can take care of time-consuming routine tasks, saving them time and money in the process.
Modern accounting software harnesses AI to improve accuracy, speed, and efficiency in data entry, task completion, and reporting. It’s providing accountants with more time to focus on strategic decision-making, business growth, and value-added services — which includes the opportunity to expand their services with CAS.
In a study by Business Insider, 80% of financial institutions are aware of the benefits of AI and are implementing, or planning to implement, AI in some way. It’s not just a trend right now, but an invaluable tool.
5. Accounting software
Accounting software refers to digital programs or applications that are designed to streamline and automate various financial and accounting tasks.
Now more than ever, workflow management software is becoming more and more popular among accountants and accounting firms, offering features that efficiently manage financial transactions, recordkeeping, reporting, and much more.
The big benefit here is how accounting software can streamline and automate various accounting processes, allowing accountants and firms to save time and therefore take on more clients — which can result in more business and revenue.
So, for accounting firms in the digital age, using accounting software presents a handful of significant benefits, from making everyday operations easier to promoting business growth.
The accounting profession will continue to see a huge transformation in 2024, shaped by technological advancements and the demands of a rapidly evolving industry.
Accountants and accounting firms that are now embracing these trends, such as the implementation of accounting software, are at the forefront of this innovation.
Accounting software enhances efficiency, accuracy, and productivity. And this isn’t just for accountants and accounting firms, but for clients who are also using this software to collaborate with their accountants in real time and with increased efficiency.
As accountants continue to navigate an increasingly dynamic industry, one notion is becoming more and more apparent: accounting software that meets the latest trends and demands isn’t just a necessity for streamlining operations, but a strategic decision to keep up with, and get ahead of, the competition.
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