13 Statistics Show Big Changes for the Future of Accounting Firms

If there’s one thing accounting firms can agree on, it’s that numbers don’t lie. Which is why it pays to note these statistics – and their implications.

1. 55% of C-level executives and professionals in finance and accountancy expect the development of intelligent automated accounting systems to have the greatest impact over the next 3 to 10 years, according to a report by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants.

2. The State of Accounts report shows that 37 percent of small and medium-sized business owners think accountancy is becoming more automated and that they can complete a range of tasks themselves. The same report found that 59% of small businesses don’t think they will need an accountant in 10 years’ time.

3. Rob Nixon, CEO and founder of PANALITIX, predicts that by the end of 2017, more than 90% of small and medium-sized businesses will be using cloud accounting software.

4. The 2016 National Management of an Accounting Practice survey found that 56% of CPA firms surveyed are using cloud-base software, up from 48% in 2014.

5. Research by Xero found that accounting and bookkeeping firms that are “all in” with the cloud (i.e., with the highest concentration of clients using cloud accounting software) see higher growth rates than firms that are not “all in.”

6. The Sleeter Group (now Accountex) found that 72% of small business owners have changed their CPA or accounting firms because the firm “did not give proactive advice, only reactive service.”

7. Business advisory services will account for more than 80% of revenue in the future, per Rob Nixon.

8. Starting salaries for accountants and bookkeepers are set to rise by 3.7% in 2017, according to the annual salary guide from staffing company Robert Half Management Resources. That may be because employers are looking for those with leadership and influencing skills, says Tim Hird, executive director of Robert Half.

9. The vast majority of the 1,400 CFOs surveyed by Robert Half across a range of companies by size and industry expect senior accountants to devote increasing amounts of their time to non-traditional functions, such as strategic planning and information technology.

10. In a study by the American Institute of CPAs found that 92% of CPAs said they are not future ready.

11. Nearly three-quarters of AICPA members will reach retirement age by 2023.

12. According to Statista, in just eight years (between spring 2008 and 2016), the number of people using an accountancy service dropped by about 20% (from 35.48 million to 28.67 million).

13. 25-40% of new business generated by top CPA firms comes from cross-selling to existing clients, says ProfitCents.

To make sure your firm doesn’t end up as just another statistic, learn ways to take your business to new levels from our Big List of Business Development Resources for Accounting Firms.

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