With the ongoing evolution in technology, the accounting industry will continue to change as well. Accountants will complete their work even more efficiently and effectively, adding additional value to their clients and employer. Here are five accounting workforce trends to look for in 2019.

Cloud Accounting

Using software and services stored on a network of remote servers strengthens security, allows for remote work, and improves disaster recovery. It also increases quality control and reduces costs. For instance, because cloud-based software can be accessed from anywhere with an internet connection, accountants have the real-time data they need to make educated business decisions. Also, since the data is stored in the cloud, there is no downtime in case of a natural disaster.

Cybersecurity

Because accountants deal with confidential financial information, they need to protect clients’ privacy. As malware, phishing and other criminal attacks continue to increase in intensity, so must security plans to block them. For instance, accountants will implement greater security protocols, receive more detailed training on security measures, and use more advanced security systems that anticipate risks.

Automation

Machine-driven algorithms will accomplish simple, routine work such as invoicing, processing payroll and tracking inventory more efficiently and effectively than humans. Automation also will increase accuracy and lower costs while freeing up time for humans to accomplish more complex activities. Accountants can leverage information, predict interactions, generate insights and provide a more valuable impact for their clients.

Blockchain

Blockchain technology will provide a continuously updated and verified accounting ledger that cannot be altered or corrupted. The technology will allow accountants to share and access data to more efficiently complete their work. For instance, Big Four accounting firms will continue to use blockchain research for accepting Bitcoin as a payment method, identify new applications and use cases for blockchain, and explore initial coin offerings that are similar to initial public offerings (IPOs) but use a cryptocurrency instead of a stock.

New Payment Structures

Cost-plus pricing will allow firms to charge the cost of performing a service plus a markup or profit margin. Fixed pricing will involve charging a fixed cost for a specific service. Value billing will consist of the firm charging for its perceived value of a service after the work has been finished. Value pricing will involve the firm charging for the client’s perceived value of a service. The price will be set before starting the work.

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