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Ahead for Accounting: Automation, Competition and Disruption

December 6th, 2018

Accountants who read our blog post this week about what 2019 holds for the healthcare industry will notice some of the same themes in today's post about the trends the accounting profession will see next year. Automation, analytics, blockchain and continued disruption to accounting's traditional business model are in the profession's future, just as they are for healthcare, different forms, of course.

Writing on CPA Practice Advisor, accounting consultant and industry thought leader Brian Tankersley sees accounting firms spurred by competitive pressure to adopt automation tools for document retrieval, data extraction, and data import to improve productivity for 1040 and client work. That will become especially important as corporate bookkeeping firms market their services more aggressively, and says Tankersley, push into the "advisory services" business that accountants were looking toward to supplement or replace lost bookkeeping deals.

He also predicts that accounting firms will embrace analytics and business intelligence in ever great numbers next year, not only to make it easier for clients to understand their numbers, but also to help them market accounting services.

Tankersley's other predictions are:

  1. States will become much more sophisticated in its enforcement of sales tax laws in the wake of the US Supreme Court’s decision allowing states to collect on internet sales by out of state retailers
  2. Business process and cloud integration tools will create opportunities for accountants to create new workflows for small businesses moving to digital processes. "These tools will help CPAs discover a new role as the digital transformation change agents for small and mid-sized businesses."
  3. There will be continued consolidation among the industry's software vendors.
  4. Blockchain will start to be used in production by large, global organizations primarily in logistics, supply chain, financial, and retail.

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