Because technology is disrupting the accounting industry, accountants need to stay current on the latest news and trends. Because many tasks are being performed by technology, accountants need to shift their role within the field to continue offering value to clients and remain marketable to employers.

1. Technological Impact Continues Evolving

Accountants need to stay updated on the evolving ways that technology impacts the industry. For example, although artificial intelligence (AI) is taking over many accounting tasks, accountants are still needed to interact with clients. Accountants also are needed for strategic planning and taking action to achieve company goals. Humans still want to work with humans.

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2. Accounting Efficiency Is Increasing

With continued adoption of the cloud, blockchain and other technology, the accounting industry is becoming more efficient. Because cloud computing uses remote servers that store, process and manage data over the internet, accountants and their teams can access data anywhere at any time. This promotes transparency, flexibility and productivity. Blockchain allows multiple entities to access a shared, encrypted ledger to create traceable audit trails. Increasing sophistication in time tracking solutions integrate with accounting systems and generate automated reports and timesheets to show managers what their team members are working on each day. This promotes more efficient and effective use of time.

3. Structure of CPA Firms Will Evolve

With all the technological advancements in the accounting industry, the basic structure of CPA firms will evolve as well. The number of firms will decrease due to increased technological costs and less demand for specialized services. The use of AI, cloud and blockchain technology will result in different pricing and business models for firms. Because more processes will be automated, accountants will shift their role to that of a client advisor. More firms will rely on virtual CFO services to increase revenue. Firms will need to provide additional value-added services that clients will pay more for, such as access to real-time financial data and more sophisticated analysis, including business intelligence and benchmarking.

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