5 Trends in Accounting for 2017

Posted 31st Jan 2017

The New Year always brings new trends, some of them may impact your life and some may vanish as quickly as they appeared. As an accountancy professional, wouldn't it be helpful if someone wrote about the trends in 2017 that could affect you? By happy coincidence, Ibell Recruitment and Staffing have done just that!

Here are the top five we think you should have in your focus:

1. DIY Accounting is increasing in use

Accounting and bookkeeping software is becoming cheaper to access and easier manage. And with the web offering tutorials on everything from mouse taxidermy to bookkeeping, getting around the easier aspects of managing your own accounts is now within the remit of every small business. If you are a new entrepreneur, doing it yourself can seem quite attractive.

Sole traders and small businesses in particular are increasingly receptive to the idea of internal accounting operations, submitting tax returns and filling self-assessments themselves.
This puts the ball in your court. Other, more specialist services, become an increasingly common way to add value as an accounting professional.

There is a reason why compliance is becoming extinct: it is low value and easy to convert into a service. Unless you can find a way to make it valuable, you need to find a way to become essential; that means offering services your customers cannot live without.

2. Purpose-driven Marketing

Millennials are not the only ones who like the idea of companies supporting charitable causes. Organisations consider it acceptable business practice when brands support good causes while earning money at the same time (associated marketing). By aligning your business with a good cause(s), you can better allocate contributions, and volunteer time while building your culture.

3. Social media as a business tool

Increasingly sophisticated in the use of Twitter and other social networks to market their brand, accounting firms will find and attract customers online, as well as monitoring their competitive landscape.

69 percent of "very well-prepared" companies have already implemented social media as a business tool, while 28 percent plan to in the future, according to the survey. Among the "less-prepared" companies, 55 percent are already using social media platforms, while 34 percent are planning to do so in the future.

Companies say that the greatest benefits of having a presence in social media are improving customer satisfaction, followed by the benefit of attracting and gaining new business.

4. Analytics will feed the need for knowledge

Business stakeholders will continue to drive greater access to key financial and operational views so that they can identify issues, discover opportunities and make better decisions. This demand, coupled with the focus on large data, will push more accounting and finance executives to ensure they have the right systems and processes in place to extract intelligence from key data.

We hope to see them, for example, harness the analytical capabilities of cloud-based ERP systems to access critical and useful information in these systems and distribute tailored reports to stakeholders based on their specific needs. The popularity of cloud applications will drive greater integration

5. Greater attention to customer service

There will be a drive to provide better customer service, leveraging technology to automate processes and free up staff, while providing customised and strategic advice and counsel to customers.

Customer service has progressed from the traditional face-to-face connections of the past with a continuous loop of customer engagement opportunities. The connections between a company and its customers have changed from infrequent and deep to ever present and open-ended.

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