With Tax Day 2020 just around the corner, certified public accountants are burning the midnight oil. Tax season for the 654,375 CPAs nationwide may be their busiest time of year, and it’s also a key driver for incorporating new technology in the office. The bottom line: whether you’re a sole practitioner or a member of one the largest accounting firms in the world—think Deloitte with 94,367 global employees—customer service is still the primary goal.
Paul Franklin, chair for accounting programs in the School of Business and Information Technology at Purdue University Global, describes a profession increasingly under pressure to work harder and smarter; he references a 2018 report where “83% of accountants said clients demand more from them today than they did 5 years ago.”
Key Trends in Accounting for 2020
To that end, the profession is moving quickly to embrace disruptions to how accounting service providers have historically operated. Technology trends include:
- Big Data and Analytics
- Automation and Artificial Intelligence
- Cloud Accounting for Small to Midsize Business
- Outsourcing (of accounting duties)
- Social Media (as a source of talent and clients)
- Mobile Computing (aps)
- Connection Convergence (video conferencing)
- Data Entry Automation
- Customization and Personalization
Working Toward a Paperless Process?
While these shifts are inevitable—each enhancing internal efficiencies and customer service—one reality remains: accounting firms are still required to retain paper copies of many documents in-house, and are mandated to submit paper copies to the IRS and state agencies. According to Dan Moore, CPA, at AICPA ENGAGE 2019 in Las Vegas: “Some people are working dynamically with the information in its electronic format. Some people are working with paper returns. Small firms in particular have been slow to abandon paper, especially because so many clients still submit physical tax documents.”
Even firms that have reached the holy grail of a near-paperless office, will still need a contingency plan if a disruption of cloud and Internet services occurs.
Multi – Function Printers and Managed Document Services: Perfect Together
As accounting firms have begun to spend less time processing documents manually, Copiers Plus anticipates a shift to a workflow-centric model and automation (e.g. consider integrations like electronic signature software).
Large or small, the same key question applies: How are staff accessing, storing, and securing documents? Once answered, Copiers Plus specialists can help firms to leverage their existing investments of multi-function printers (MFPs) by incorporating Managed Document Services (MDS), proprietary, customizable software like Kyocera Document Solutions. This software optimizes the entire document output process—capturing, archiving, and producing a workflow that is intuitive, efficient, and customized to each end user through secure access protocols. Further, Kyocera analysts find that MDS can reduce output costs by up to 30%.
Copiers Plus has also partnered with OnBase by Hyland. OnBase Workflow is an automation engine and electronic routing system that empowers organizations to process work faster and more efficiently. The system embeds a robust set of point-and-click configurable rules and actions, so that business processes can be quickly automated without custom programming. In the financial services industry, OnBase, assures regulatory compliance, improves client service, and enhances productivity.
So, as Tax Day 2020 looms, Copiers Plus wants to make sure you are ready. Request an appointment with our team to ensure your organization is able to adapt to the influx of new technology and workflows that arise. Give us a call at 800-648-7081 or fill a form online through the button below to set up your meeting today!