2017 has begun, and changes are on the horizon for most industries, including accounting. Will the industry grow or shrink? Will the pay for the field grow or shrink?
While accounting has traditionally been regarded as a predictable field, there are a number of questions on our minds as the year begins. Fortunately, predictions for the field of accounting can be made based on prior years and responses to challenges in the past. Some of the top predictions for the field of accounting in 2017 are highlighted here.
Technological Advancements Will Continue to Drive Changes in the Field of Accounting
This is one trend that most people could have predicted, because the field of accounting has changed drastically in prior years to meet the changes that technology has brought with it. Over the past 20 years, the advent of the internet has completely changed the field. The growth of the internet and advances in software have continued to revolutionize the entire field. The ability to pursue your accounting degree online is one such advance; another includes the digitization of accounting records.
Recently, the development of cloud technology has also brought enormous change and improvement to accounting. The cloud allows companies to store and share large amounts of data efficiently. Of course, the cloud has increased vulnerability along with the increased accessibility. Regardless, the industry has taken advantage of the cloud to expand its industrial reach and will continue to do so in the future.
Data Security Will Be a Major Priority Across the Board
Cloud computing has significantly increased accessibility to data and efficiency in its use; however, this increased accessibility comes at an important price. Firms will need to protect this data because if employees from anywhere can access it, then skilled hackers from anywhere can also access it.
Protecting this data is going to be an important priority for the accounting world in 2017 and beyond. In addition, accountants, firms and other professionals will need to focus on the latest developments in cybersecurity so that they continue to update their strategies for protecting their and their clients’ vital data.
Accountants Will Increase their Advisory Services
As the business landscape continues to change, accountants are starting to serve more and more as consultants as well as direct employees to businesses. Accountants make valuable consultants because they possess a tremendous amount of knowledge regarding a complex tax code. Therefore, accountants often serve as consultants who can help businesses balance books that have been out of balance for years and help balance the books during a merger between two major firms and companies.
Accountants may also find themselves serving in more advisory roles to clients and companies. They will have insight and access to more aspects of client businesses beyond the books, and will be useful to these entities for more than one purpose.
The role of the accountant has diversified more and more. Advisory services will grow in 2017, and accountants who work on this skill set will grow in their profession.
Recruiting and Retention Will Play a Larger Role than Ever Before
Accounting is a rapidly growing field for a number of reasons. One such reason is the growth of “less traditional” businesses. The ability to establish a business online means that almost anyone can become an entrepreneur and have access to a large and spread out pool of customers. Now, the internet allows companies to access potential customers anywhere in the world; these businesses still need accountants to help them balance their books. This places accountants in high demand. Therefore, a major focus of upcoming years is going to be on recruiting and retention.
In 2017, businesses will need to focus on both recruiting and retaining their accountants to grow and be successful.
These are only a few of the many different predictions concerning accounting in the upcoming year. The only certainty is that change will continue to occur rapidly in the field. If you are interested in taking advantage of these trends and advancing your career in accounting, visit New England College online to get started.