Accountants have to be on the lookout for changes in the tax code and plan for proposed changes in tax regulation, but there are also trends within the business of accounting. Understanding the hottest trends can help you make sure your firm is at the forefront of your local economy. Here are trends you should look for in 2015.
The Rise of the Self-Employed
Image via Flickr by Philip Taylor PT
The number of people going into business for themselves is expected to grow in 2015 and beyond. People sometimes transition into self-employment when the economy goes into recession, especially when they face unemployment. There is evidence to suggest that a global recession is on the horizon that will affect the United States, and that the U.S. economy will start to see dips before the end of 2015. When this happens, more people are going to be looking to open shop. They will need your help to make sure they are getting the tax deductions they deserve and make smart financial decisions in their business ventures.
Listening on Social Media
Social media has been big for years. You have probably heard at least once or twice that you and your firm need to have an active presence in social media and be available to your clients in a number of platforms. What is new is that you should be making “social listening” efforts as well. This involves checking up on your clients, seeing what matters to them, reading their social media posts, and looking at what rival firms are doing.
Image via Flickr by Damien
Smaller firms, and even some larger ones, are starting to abandon the idea of a traditional office. Virtual offices, firms without a physical address, and offices used only for picking up or dropping off material are gaining ground. Being mobile allows you to offer greater convenience to your clients while reducing overhead costs. It also means that you are not bound by your geography anymore.
As more people get into business for themselves, and many others expand their financial portfolios to include a variety of retirement plans and investments, accountants are being called upon to give advice more and more. Sometimes this may mean taking the role of a CFO in a start-up, while other times you may be providing estate planning advice or valuing an acquisition for a business. Make sure your customers are aware that they can come to you for these issues.
In addition to being able to offer advice and counseling to people getting started in business, many accounting firms are expanding their businesses to include back-office services. This essentially means that your company would handle the day-to-day bookkeeping for a small business.
The accounting world is unique because all firms offer the same basic services. You get and keep your clients by proving your skills, making the process as convenient as possible and providing value above standard tax preparation. Following the latest accounting trends will help make sure your firm doesn’t get lost in the pack.