November 5, 2018      3 min read

Ten years ago, the accounting industry looked very different but new technology is evolving. Cloud-based software is becoming more prevalent everywhere you look; accountants have had to adapt their mode of operation. These changes to the industry will create so many opportunities for accountants. Yet, there will also be notable challenges to face with this level of change.

At the end of the day, there’s no way to keep up with every technological advancement out there. You could spend hours optimising your personal devices and every piece of software in a business environment. However, there are certain trends that accountants need to be prepared for in the future. They are undeniably becoming fundamentals to the industry and will impact how they do their business.

Small business cloud accounting

Cloud-based software platforms are making it more and more viable for small businesses to join the competition. Cloud-based software can help small businesses with their accounting systems, keep track of their inventory stock and manage their eCommerce platforms. The systems provide small businesses with real-time information across important areas of their operations.

The cloud lets an accounting system communicate with the other cloud-based systems as well. It can integrate inventory stock levels and online sales into their daily accounting reports. This keeps a small business organised and across everything that’s going on. It is also a scalable model so it can adapt to business growth.

It is anticipated that at least 78% of all American SMEs will fully cloud operational by 2020. It’s imperative that accountants can support clients on this journey in a way that goes beyond the basic accounting principles. Accountants can provide guidance on best-practice processes. They can help manicure a cloud-based software system that is catered to a company’s accounting needs. There is often specialised accounting requirements for small businesses. Accountants may shift from the day-to-day accounting duties and act as business advisors. After all, their years of experience in the industry can help provide insight and strategic expertise.

Develop a speciality

As cloud-based software becomes more mainstream, accountants may struggle to find their place. However, there is a vast amount of scope to specialise into niche parts of the market. Each business will operate slightly differently – some businesses might have perishable inventory stock, others might have inventory stock that gets sold in multiple countries. Businesses need to sculpt a unique cloud-based software model that suits their exact needs.

Accountants can help define the relationship that speciality businesses have with the cloud by providing financial expertise that can guide how these systems get built. They can help decide what financial information is important to gather from the cloud. It can support forecasting decisions and help adapt to shifts in the industry.

There is a big space for accountants to capitalise on the niche needs of a business. It’s definitely an interesting time to be an accountant in the cloud-based software era!

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