Emerging Bookkeeping & Accounting Industry Trends in 2024

With 2024 around the corner, the accounting industry is finding itself at the epicenter of several revolutionary trends. Evolving technology, the changing business landscape, and the environment are transforming the role, tools, and responsibilities of accountants, particularly those serving small- and mid-sized businesses. To stay relevant in this dynamic landscape, it’s vital for accountants to keep abreast of these changes, turning potential challenges into opportunities.

Let’s explore these pivotal trends.

1. The Role of Technology in Accounting

Technological literacy will become a fundamental part of what it means to be an accountant. The digital transformation will not replace accountants but rather expand their professional scope. With technology already performing many manual and repetitive accounting tasks, businesses must embrace it sooner rather than later. However, other essential (and time-consuming) accounting functions like payroll, compliance work, data entry, some communications, onboarding, and planning will be automated as well. This will give accountants more time for planning, data analytics, and fulfilling their advisory role, providing valuable insights for their clients.

2. The Impact of AI in Accounting

AI is not poised to replace accountants but rather to enhance their ability to provide more comprehensive services. Nonetheless, the uptake of generative AI tools has worried many in the industry. According to The Future of Jobs Report 2023, new technology and digitalization will result in 26 million fewer jobs by 2027 across different industries, including accounting and bookkeeping. However, one must not overlook that the accountant is a strategist with human experiences, an understanding of nuances, passion, and resilience. By exploring and incorporating AI tools, an accountant’s role will evolve to include examination of trends, data analysis, and holistic evaluation of the business environment.

3. The Growing Threat of Cybersecurity

You and your clients aren’t the only businesses benefiting from AI and rapidly evolving technology. Hackers are also excited about it. With the increasing sophistication of cybersecurity threats, accountants must understand the risks and implement best practices to safeguard their firms and clients.

According to the FBI, Business Email Compromise scams (a type of cybercrime where attackers manipulate or compromise email accounts with an organization to defraud the company or its employees) caused estimated losses of $2.4 billion in 2021. Hackers often target accountants and bookkeepers of small- and mid-sized businesses since they have a plethora of information and don’t attract as much public and police attention as bigger firms.

4. Enterprise Resource Planning Systems

With 36% of American companies planning to implement cloud-based accounting solutions in the near future, Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems will provide businesses of all sizes with powerful tools for financial management. Like accounting software, ERP systems help centralize financial data and ensure security. They provide timely reports and actionable insights and can automate bookkeeping processes. Thanks to ERP systems, businesses can more effectively manage their cash flow, allocate funds, ensure timely payments, and ensure salaries are credited their employees’ accounts.

ERP platforms will help integrate accounting software and financial data with other areas of the business, such as supply chain, order, and production management. These integrated platforms combine data from different areas to give users deeper insight into their businesses.

5. The Future of Remote Work in Accounting

Since 2020, 300,000 accountants and auditors have quit, resulting in a significant 17% decline. Moreover, with more accountants retiring than there are graduate accountants entering the profession, a serious talent shortage is evident. Consequently, firms must now focus on six key areas to successfully attract and retain top talent in this dwindling talent pool.

  • Young people want to use technology and automation in their profession. By showcasing the powerful capabilities of automation, AI, and general tech in accounting, firms can attract the younger generation to the profession.
  • Professional development and career growth opportunities are crucial to Gen Z. Nearly 9 in 10 Gen Z regard these aspects as highly significant. Organizations that invest in employee development have reported an 11% increase in profitability and are twice as likely to retain their employees.
  • Flexible work arrangements have become a necessity. According to a study by McKinsey & Company, an overwhelming 87% of employees prefer working remotely when given the choice.
  • Diversity, equity, and inclusion are now not simply preferences but requirements. Approximately 80% of workers wish to work for a company that values these principles, and 60% want their leaders to speak out on social and political matters.
  • Offshore talent should be recognized as a finite resource. Before the pandemic, 6.2% of accounting firms offshored staffing, but post-pandemic, 41.3% of firms are offshoring, and many more are open to the idea. Outsourcing recurring accounting and bookkeeping tasks will maximize efficiency and allow you to scale your operations on demand.
alliantTalent for the Future

Accounting trends will change over the years, but one thing remains constant: alliantTalent’s dedication to helping small- and mid-sized businesses with their accounting and bookkeeping requirements.

Through alliantTalent, we offer solutions for accounts payable, accounts receivable, expense management, and other time-consuming accounting tasks. Leveraging our accounting professionals can help businesses streamline their processes, eliminate difficult and time-consuming manual data entry, and improve accuracy and operational efficiency.

Our software centralizes processes, integrates with existing systems, and enables accountants and business owners to automate tasks effectively. Our proprietary automation also allows accountants to spend more time on high-value activities, such as analysis, strategy, and client advisory services—instead of tracking down receipts.

By partnering with alliantTalent and encouraging your clients to use it, you can stay at the forefront of accounting trends, enhance your service offerings, and prepare for emerging accounting trends and the future of accounting.

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