The year new always promises much in the way of change and transformation, and 2020 is set to be no different. 2019 may have seen the rise of cloud-based solutions and mobile accountants, but 2020 bring a whole new digital revolution to the fore, and see artificial intelligence make its accounting debut. Based on research conducted by Sage in their ‘Practice of Now’ report – which considered the viewpoint of 3000 accountants, we pick out 3 trends sure to influence the accounting profession in 2020:
2020 Accounting Trend 1: A Digital Revolution
- Legislation that requires businesses to submit tax returns online will change the way we communicate and interact with clients.
- Accountancy firms will have to show their clients how to use their digital tools – for example, how to capture expenses on their smartphones and tablets.
- Forrester revealed that 73% of financial customers would like to carry out financial tasks on their mobiles and that digital processes should be part of the customer experience, which opens up many possibilities for customer engagement.
- Some firms are also developing new technology and implementing a mobile communications platform that provides a central place for all things financial within the accountant’s own App – saving their clients time in finding the information they are after.
2020 Accounting Trend 2: Artificial intelligence
- The potential for a ‘virtual’ member of the team that is available 24/7 to answer multiple questions and carry out simple tasks even when the office is closed.
- Complex and repetitive tasks can be automated and conducted with extreme accuracy.
- In fact, according to global research conducted by Sage in 2019, 58% of accountancy professionals are expecting to automate tasks using AI solutions within the next three years.
2020 Accounting Trend 3: The Environment
- A reduction in paper usage. The burning of trees for energy for pulping is the single biggest source of emissions by the industry (40%) and responsible afforestation globally is essential to meeting new international climate targets.
- The signing of tax documents and declarations with digital signatures that can be emailed between the firm and client in real time.
We can’t wait to see what else 2020 has in store for the industry, and how we can adapt to better meet our clients’ needs.