By 2020, only four years from now, smart machines and cloud based computers may be providing the majority of accountancy services, completing many tax returns and parts of audits. This should be seen as an opportunity for accountants to increase their workload capacity, while freeing up more time to expand their services portfolio and attract more clients. – Dr. James Canton and the Institute for Global Futures, for CPA.com™
SMBs are facing seismic shifts in the way business is conducted: online, virtual, mobile, always-on, social, global, more regulated and staffed (or even managed) by millennials who have never known a world without smartphones, social media and Internet apps.
The Internet of Things and smart machines are more than smart TVs and connected cars. It’s also your client’s inventories, their business processes, their equipment, financial transactions and nearly everything they do on all the devices they use to conduct their business. And all of the data generated by so many things and activities connected to the Internet is increasingly being used to create data analytics. Your clients will increasingly rely on those data analytics (including predictive analytics) to manage their business. This can be either a threat or opportunity for accountants. No one is better positioned than the accountant to provide business advice based on these new streams of data.
If you’re still doing business this way, buried by the paper (or shoeboxes) your clients bring in, I want to suggest there is a better way. A way that leverages technology to help you become a more real-time advisor to your clients. A way that takes your firm from one that is valuable at tax time, to one that is valuable ALL THE TIME.