With a new year ahead of us, now is a great opportunity to re-evaluate your policies, taking into consideration the trends and changes we anticipate in the profession. This article will identify key areas accounting firms should focus on in 2017.
2017 New Predictions and Trends:
- International Business Is Trickling Down to Smaller Firms.
Over the last year, we have seen a large uptick in the number of international requests. While large regional and national firms have traditionally been on the forefront of this work, we are seeing smaller firms finally feeling the impact of the global changes. This is presenting both opportunities and challenges.
- Training & Management
Training and development has always been important, but this year these disciplines will be even more prevalent. As firms transition leadership and business development responsibilities to younger managers and staff, we would like to see them taking a more proactive approach to training and developing in non-technical areas like management, leadership, communications and business development. The trend toward training is being driven by firms that need to build their partner bench strength but find they don’t quite have the management skills required for success. That being said, training and development is also just good business practice.
- Evolving Business Finance Technology Will Change How CPA Firms Deliver Compliance Services
Compliance services will need to evolve as new finance technology emerges. Blockchain technology has made significant advancements, with more than a billion dollars invested into this database over the past three years. Many banks have the blockchain and are playing around with it. It won’t be long before this technology completely changes the way firms audit and do tax returns. If you aren’t exploring it now, your firm may struggle to make the necessary changes to survive. (See non-compliance services above)
- Influencer Marketing Will Become More Personalized and Creative
Digital advertising and media have created a lot of opportunities to reach target audiences, but the changes around privacy control are making it increasingly difficult to get mass-distributed emails through or have advertisements seen. While influencer marketing has never diminished in its importance, we believe we will see a resurgence of programs designed to reach individual COIs and prospects directly. The reinvestment of influencer marketing will go well beyond traditional networking or joint events. We believe we will see more firms creating truly unique opportunities to build brand awareness and gain access to these individuals within their target markets.
We are excited about the many trends and changes we are seeing in the profession. As we work with firms to help embrace new trends and the many other changes they face, we continuously remind firm leaders to find the right balance between what continues to work today and what will need to be developed for tomorrow.
Have questions about these trends? Contact us to learn more about how CPAsNET helps CPA firms.