Even before COVID-19, the accounting profession was experiencing profound change. The pandemic accelerated the pace of digital transformation and changed the way firms and clients work together.
Firms face many challenges, from new compliance pressures to greater competition for talent. The pace of legislative change remains rapid, and it seems like the concept of a “normal tax season” may no longer exist. Firms also face compliance challenges around accounting and audit, including tougher peer reviews and inspections. Firms also continue to adjust their staffing strategies and technology to accommodate remote and hybrid work.
For a sense of how quickly the profession is changing, look no further than how firms described their top challenges from 2019 through 2021. Just two years ago, firms were focused on technology, client expectations and operating and growing the business more effectively. Last year, firms pivoted to meet the daily challenges of operating in a pandemic. This year, firms are adapting to a new kind of normal that includes rapid legislative changes, difficulties in working with the IRS, and the lack of timely information from clients.
Seeking continued growth, firms will need to go beyond traditional business practices and rethink their approaches to people, processes and technology. Successful firms will leverage cloud solutions and advanced technologies to deliver higher-value advisory services, unlock new data-driven insights and enhance the client experience. Going forward, firms will move:
- BEYOND COMPLIANCE to empower their staff to make informed decisions and add value for clients.
- BEYOND CONVENTION to find new approaches for process automation across the firm.
- BEYOND INTEGRATION to unlock data across the business, harness deeper insights and improve productivity.