Top 5 Obstacles That IT Services for Accounting Firms Will Help You Overcome
Are you struggling with the same obstacles over and over? You’re not alone. There are 4 key issues that accounting firms everywhere are putting up with – do you know how IT services for accounting firms will help you overcome them?
The financial services sector, just like every other industry, is affected by our ever-changing world. The increase in technological advances has been swift and irreversible. Although technology is meant to make work easier for everyone, it requires your full attention to keep up.
Most of today’s accounting firms have embraced the changes that are occurring in our technology-driven world. And still, some have been unable to keep up and are encountering serious challenges.
From cyber threats to rising costs, the accounting industry is facing its share of tough problems. Savvy business owners overcome these challenges and move forward – with the help of IT services for accounting firms. They turn these problems into stepping stones that lead to new opportunities.
Still, these issues can slow down the workflow and require too much attention. The struggle can be tiresome and never-ending…
5 Major Challenges You Face (And How IT Services For Accounting Firms Solve Them)
Growing & Scaling
Given the difficulties with deadlines explored above, how can an accounting firm find time to focus on growth? If you’re too busy focusing on one client and then the next, how can you better focus on the big picture?
- Delegate your work’s non-critical aspects to your team (or better yet, drop them altogether) and invest your time in innovation and new clientele.
- Communicate changes to your workflow with your clients (and how they may affect them). If you have less time to chat one-one with your clients because you’re focused on serving them better, make sure they understand that.
- Bring your team in from the ground up on the cultural and holistic changes you’re making to the firm. Make them a part of the conversation so that they can engage with what you’re doing and help affect real change.
Harnessing Innovative Technology
Perhaps the most important challenge that accounting firms face is the constant need to update their technology.
You want to have the latest and greatest software programs and network services, but all this can be expensive. To make matters worse, technology is constantly evolving. Today’s smartphones offer advanced features you couldn’t get a year ago.
For many firms, the best way to alleviate this concern is to find an IT company and allow them to handle the technical aspects of your firm’s operations. The right IT company can equip you with exciting new technology and applications, such as process automation.
Solutions like Automation Anywhere allow firms like yours to easily develop automation “robots” that will handle tedious and repetitive tasks for you. This allows you to save you and your staff time and focus on more pressing and complicated tasks.
Both in the private and professional fields, cybersecurity is more important than ever – and for your accounting firm especially.
The fact is that the cybercrime business has never been bigger – it’s estimated that the global cybercrime industry will cause up to $6 trillion in damages in just a few years. It remains such a lucrative business because targets – like your accounting firm – keep failing to learn how cybercriminals operate and how to protect against it.
That’s why you need to implement security solutions:
- Email filtering
- Two-factor authentication
- Automated password and user ID policy enforcement
- Comprehensive access and password management
- Whitelist or blacklist external traffic
- Patch/update all IT and security systems
- Manage access and permission levels for all employees.
- Review existing technical controls and take action to plug any gaps.
Changes To Code & Compliance
The degree to which tax code continues to change makes it so difficult for accountants to keep up – but you still have to. To serve clients, you need to advise on their taxes, no matter how they change.
As noted by senior tax trainer Robyn Jacobson, “Most of the tax policy I see at the moment is in response to groups of taxpayers who are not complying.”
“Sometimes, there are only small groups of people in certain industries who are not complying, but the government will turn its attention to that entire industry. It’s like the old expression, ‘using a sledgehammer to crack open a walnut.’”
Furthermore, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act has impacted absolutely everything accounting firms deal with, from entertainment expenses to depreciation. The 186-page document is confusing, to say the least – but with the right software, you can automatically call up any new rate as needed.
Standing Out From Your Competition
Virtually every accounting firm in the business right now offers the same basic services – taxes, financial reporting, and bookkeeping. If you think that’s enough to excel in your industry, you’re fooling yourself.
A key way to get ahead of your competitors is by offering something more advanced – client advisory services (CAS). This means going beyond offering simple financial services, and instead, providing expert consultation on business health and strategy for your clients.
This means providing Business Intelligence, collecting and analyzing data collected, such as department productivity, overall growth, sales trends, and customer behavior. Applications of this data can range from simple as spreadsheets for the organization and storage of data to Online Analytical Processing or Reporting and Querying software. Each has a specific use and offers various benefits to your clients’ businesses.
For example, reporting and querying software extracts, sorts, summarizes and presents selected data. This data could range from sale reports of specific items to a measurement of marketing plans’ efficiency.
The bottom line is that the right Business Intelligence software will help you make recommendations to your clients about managing their business more effectively.
What’s the secret?
The truth here is straightforward; it’s not a ten-point list, or a comprehensive, complicated strategy. The one thing to look for in IT services for accounting firms is a team that understands the accounting industry and the technology involved in it – that’s what Infiniwiz can do for you. From IT assessment to implementation and comprehensive management, we provide the resources to overcome the industry-wide challenges that so many firms like yours face.