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Staffing, succession planning, cybersecurity, mergers/acquisitions, and profitability are challenges every business faces. But for accounting firms, you must also add tax reform to this list.

Based on research from “Accounting Today” the two biggest concerns in the minds of executives/owners in the accounting profession are the impact of new technologies and accounting’s ability to adapt to the rapid pace of change. In this article, we are going to break down the top 4 challenges accounting firms face.

1. The Impact of Technology

In order to better serve their clients, the accounting profession needs to increase the number of services it offers. To do this, accountants must harness current technology tools.

By automating business processes and using artificial intelligence, accountants will have more time to serve as a strategic partner and provide data-driven recommendations that positively impact the business decisions of their clients.

2. Adapting to Rapid Change

As new tools streamline specific tasks, accountants will not only have to embrace new ways of working but take on expanded roles. To avoid becoming obsolete, they must learn and develop new skills to stay competitive.

Samantha Stansfield, director of professional development at CPA.com stated:

“With automation minimizing many entry roles, the profession needs to identify how young professionals gain experience and knowledge so they can become valuable advisors.”

3. Tax Cuts and Jobs Act

Just when it seems like you have everything down, a new tax law or regulation comes along to complicate things. The good news is that accounting and tax software will handle all the latest rates.

This new law has affected everything from meals and entertainment expenses to depreciation. Being able to truly understand it takes a lot of reading about the reform so that the true professional can continue to better advise his or her clients.

4. Cybersecurity

If you think you are immune to this because you have a small accounting practice, think again. Gartner estimates that information security spending will exceed $124 billion worldwide this year.

As a small business accounting professional, your responsibility to protect your data goes beyond the walls of your own company. It also includes all the other contacts in your system, including your clients, employees, and service providers.

For many accounting firms, the best way to address these concerns is to find an IT services company that understands the industry and can help solve these challenges. Just like you are a strategic advisor, you need to ensure that you hire an IT provider that focuses on strategy and consulting first!

The IT companies that have a strong strategy practice are usually very competent in supporting computer systems. Choosing the right IT support company can cut your overall costs and give you the same technology solutions that larger, national accounting practices receive.

As IT consultants to other accounting practices in the Baltimore-Washington Area, we can help your accounting firm gain a competitive edge, hire/attract the best accountants regardless of where they live, develop a strategy to utilize technology to your advantage, and secure your business and your clients’ information.

Want to learn more about the right IT services for your accounting firm? Visit our Blog.