The 2013 Future of Accountancy report, authored by Intuit and Small Business Labs, was released last week. The report, an update of The Future of the Accounting Profession Study from 2011, was conducted through a series of “think tanks” with actual accountants, industry analysts and members of the media with accounting expertise.
The report examined how demographic, technological, economic, and social trends will affect the accounting profession over the next decade.
Two significant findings were revealed:
- Technologies like mobile, cloud computing and social media are providing accountants convenient tools that offer real-time customer support. Also, these same technologies are providing a means for customers to access their account information 24/7 through modern conveniences, like mobile devices.
- Outsourcing of accounting services offers both threats and opportunities to the profession. In the 2011 report most of the accountants interviewed saw outsourcing as mainly a threat but in 2013, more agreed outsourcing provides a lucrative opportunity for accounting firms to provide services to companies who outsource their bookkeeping and accounting services.
The report also forecasted the following demographic impacts:
- Aging baby boomers planning for retirement, health and elder care will turn to accounting professionals for financial guidance.
- Gen X and Y clients will continue to expect always-on access to their account information and around-the-clock customer support.
- As more and more women become small business owners with financial decision-making power, the need for accounting services will increase, creating a unique customer segment.
“Is That an Accountant in Your Pocket?”Smallbizlabs.com. 10/29/13.
“The Intuit 2013 Future of Accountancy Report.” Intuit.com. October 2013.