Why are Accountants Slow to Adopt Technology Solutions?
We have arrived at a critical moment in the accounting industry. Many firms have become used to running their practice in a traditional way, but their processes are on the verge of being outdated. The key is that what’s changing the accounting industry isn’t merely a trend, but rather a fundamental change in the way the profession operates. What is triggering this change, you ask? The cloud. An accounting firm that isn’t taking the cloud seriously in 2017 is not one that will be around past 2020. Leaning into technology, rather than reacting to it, is the way of the future, which will lead to better results for clients and a more streamlined way of doing business.
While using the cloud may already seem like it’s the norm, it’s not. The numbers are staggering. A majority of accountants haven’t migrated to the cloud—one of the most basic tech transitions in the financial sector. According to a recent survey by AccountantsWorld, 57 percent of accountants still use the desktop version of QuickBooks software. What’s more, even among those who have attempted to move to the cloud, according to the 2016 IFAC report, nearly a third of small- and medium-sized accounting practices report still experiencing challenges with moving to the cloud. What they don’t realize is their own reluctance to migrate to the cloud is costing them hundreds of thousands of dollars in unnecessary labor and data entry that could be easily streamlined.
How is this the case? Accountants seem to divide themselves into two groups, those who embrace the cloud and those who resist the cloud. If the cloud is embraced, it is a true opportunity for accountants to advance their practices and cement their futures. For those who continue to choose to avoid the cloud, competing against firms that use the cloud and harness its power will continue to be difficult. It’s time for all accountants to realize that the benefits of migrating to the cloud outweigh the growing pains.
For example, cloud solutions can save a large chunk of data entry time, if managed correctly. Cloud programs that sync with small businesses’ online bank and credit card accounts allow accountants to download those transactions automatically. This secure, direct access to data minimizes room for errors. Because of the integrated and real-time capabilities of the cloud, accountants can monitor cash flow, spot potential issues before they occur, and uncover new revenue opportunities for their clients. The cloud helps accountants build real value and deepens their relationship with their clients.
In addition, accountants can work collaboratively with their clients in one unified system, while being able to customize the system to best serve each client’s needs. This unique approach makes it easier for accountants to offer complete accounting services.