Top 5 Accounting Trends Your Practice Needs to Watch Out For in 2019

13 Dec 2018  |  
Tags: cloud accounting accounting Compliance
Top 5 accounting trends of 2019

In 2018, we all saw technology accelerate and transform the accounting industry. Many accountants and bookkeepers started using digital tools and are optimising their processes to go paperless. These changes are showing no signs of slowing down with MTD signalling the start of a new era of cloud accounting. 

So what’s in store for the industry in 2019? Here are the top 5 accounting trends to look out for in 2019.

  1. Data security still paramount

Most recently 100 million Quora user accounts were compromised when hackers bypassed security and compromised user data. The extent of the breach is still being investigated however, it just goes to show that even the biggest organisations can be affected. Accounting practices will need to ensure they are providing and maintaining adequate protection of their clients’ data.

Accountants need to prioritise data security when it comes to client data. Being GDPR compliant and achieving Cyber Essentials accreditation are just some of the steps accountants can take to safeguard data.

  1. Harnessing the power of the cloud

Cloud accounting is now being used more commonly by accounting practices. This trend is particularly buoyed by the implementation of Making Tax Digital in 2019.

Among the software providers, QuickBooks and Xero are the frontrunners. Xero recently acquired Instafile to connect accountants and bookkeepers to compliance bodies like the HMRC, and QuickBooks witnessed double-digit growth in revenues and scaled their subscriber base by 41% year-on-year. 

Not only will the cloud encourage mobility and ensure remote work is easily managed, but it also offers a range of benefits such as enhanced security and advanced data recovery options. The ease of use and anytime accessibility makes cloud accounting even more appealing for practice owners.

In fact, according to a Sage survey, 67% of accountants believe that cloud technology makes their role easier by enabling collaboration with clients. With 53% having already adopted a cloud-based practice management solution. 

  1. Compliance work is increasing

Automation is now being implemented in the accounting industry and many manual processes are being replaced by automated ones. Of course, it is a more efficient method however, it also means compliance becomes a much greater priority as well. The same concern arises with the implementation of cloud computing in accounting.

Accountants who are utilising these new methods need to ensure they are compliant with the regulations of governing bodies such as HMRC. In the UK, Making Tax Digital (MTD) will come into effect in April 2019. When it does, it’s expected to change the current system of filing tax returns, to move from once-a-year tax filing to quarterly digital VAT returns.     

Anytime new processes and legislation is introduced the chances of non-compliancy increases. It’s for this reason that compliance work will see an increase in 2019. 

  1. Global resourcing

Countries like the US and the UK are having trouble retaining good accountants. In fact, according to the 2015 PCPS CPA Firm Top Issues survey, “retaining staff is the No. 1 concern of firms that employ 11 or more people.” This not only poses a capacity concern there’s also a financial cost to spend time and money on retaining an employee.

A similar burden presents itself when the discussion of upskilling employees arises. Firstly, time and costs associated with upskilling need to be considered. A senior accountant will probably need to take time out of their regular duties to train new employees.  

To address this situation, global resourcing is now being used by UK accounting practices for a whole range of solutions, right  from improving work life balance of in-house staff,  deploying new technology to making compliance processes more profitable and efficient. Anyone who has done their research knows that there’s more to global resourcing than just cutting costs.  

As a strategic tool, global resourcing is also being used by accountants to gain a competitive edge and transform their compliance departments at the same time. Many accountants are opening up to the idea of setting up offshore teams to handle workloads which can’t be easily completed due to staffing shortages and the simultaneous requirement to upskills in-house staff. This becomes especially useful for practice owners trying to keep their sanity during the busy tax season or getting their practices ready for digital tax reporting. 

Specialist accounting outsourcing providers like QXAS have trained and skilled teams of accountants, bookkeepers and account managers to help turnaround accounting jobs faster while enabling front-end staff productivity.

  1. Millennials are becoming more important

With more millennials requiring accounting services than ever before the expectations are also changing. In fact, there’s even a new term for these enterprising individuals, ‘millennipreneurs’. And they’re already changing the business landscape with many of them starting their first business by the age of 27 compared to the previous average of 35 years old.

With this increase in entrepreneurialism, millennials also have higher expectations from their accountants. They want them to be more proactive and hands on, they expect a personalised style which can help guide them to make the most of their finances.

The new breed of business owners is digitally savvy and are keen to use new tech and digital tools to be successful. They are socially responsible and don’t want to compromise their values for the sake of money. To be successful in this new world of millennials, accountants will need to stay on top of new developments and integrate the ones that will provide greater value for their clients.

Moving forward

At QXAS we’ve combined our customised and flexible approach, outstanding service delivery, specialist knowledge, and experience to become a trusted service provider for our clients. Get in touch with us today for a no-obligation consultation to see if outsourcing can benefit your accounting practice.