Post Pandemic Accounting Changes
As the owner of a Tax and Accounting practice, you know that businesses must evolve to survive. You’ve spent your career advising your clients of that fact.
AccountingToday recently published a timely and relevant summary of challenges driven by Covid. The article (below) shares four ways tax and accounting practice owners were forced under pressure to evolve their practices.
What’s next? What will be the next challenge, and how much adjustment will it take, or should it take, to adapt?
The answers depend on your unique circumstances and on how close you are to retirement. Big, bold moves might be the correct answer for that young CPA building a practice, but significant moves and investments might be wrong for the owner who plans to sell in the next year or two.
Accounting Firm Sold has been helping the owners of tax and accounting practices for more than 30 years. Often, our work starts several years before listing a practice for sale.
We know that not all change is good or worth the investment. If you are nearing retirement, it is especially important that strategic decisions you make now align with your goals and yield the results you need and desire.
Let’s start a conversation today to make sure the big decisions you make now are best for your retirement strategy.
Four changes that will stick with accounting long after the pandemic is over
Published October 2021 – Accounting Today
The COVID-19 pandemic’s far-reaching effects have touched every industry worldwide, and CPAs are not immune. Not only were CPA firms working to help the businesses they serve survive economic challenges, but they were also fighting their own battles. According to one survey, approximately 90% of CPA firms reported concerns for their company, ranging from health to finances and operations. Despite the challenges, firms also reported facing challenges with innovations like using cloud technology and innovation.
Necessity is the mother of invention — or in some cases, reinvention. COVID-19 forced the accounting industry to evolve almost overnight, and not all of the changes that occurred will be going away. Here are some of the adaptations that will be part of the industry from now on.
CPAs have learned to adapt quickly to changes in their work, whether major financial programs like the Paycheck Protection Program or adjusting the way they work with clients. Clients have come to expect continually up-to-date information from their CPA anytime they need it, and there will be no going back. Customers will expect their accountants to come up with solutions at the drop of a hat, whether or not there is an international crisis.
Not only will customers continue to demand more agility from CPAs, but there will always be rapid changes that require accountants to think on their feet.
A lack of in-person interaction could be detrimental for some, but for CPAs, it may have been a boon. Trying to work remotely with clients forced CPAs to communicate more effectively. Cloud-based dashboards, video conference calls, chatting online, and sending frequent emails are the norm now, whereas both CPAs and clients may have been reluctant to give them a try before.
Clients couldn’t be left hanging during a pandemic that had significant financial implications. They needed fast, insightful information about new programs and how they could help their business, and it was up to CPAs to stay on top of it all and boil it down for them.
Flexible work environment
COVID-19 brought about a sudden adjustment as workers moved from conference rooms to living rooms. Though many businesses, including CPA firms, later began bringing workers back, the office landscape has likely changed for good. More workers will stay in their home offices full time or choose a hybrid option, with some working from home and some in the office. This shift affects how a CPA firm runs internally and how it will serve its clients — many of whom are shifting to more remote work.
Businesses will come to rely on their accountants outside of more formal meetings and scheduled reports, and CPAs will be able to answer the bell from anywhere if needed.
The Paycheck Protection Program was a much-needed life preserver for struggling businesses in 2020, but the program’s intricacies were a lot to work through. Applications require paperwork, loan forgiveness, and other factors that could make the program confusing for business owners. CPA firms reported expanding services to help businesses take advantage of the program, making up 39% of new services offered to clients.
Although this service was directly related to the pandemic, firms will continue to expand their offerings even after the pandemic is history. In a 2021 survey, 33% of firms reported they anticipated adding new services like financial advisory, cash flow, and risk advisory in the next year.
Many of the changes brought on by COVID-19 were already in motion in the industry, but firms got the extra push they needed to move forward. Businesses have been seeking more advisory services from their CPAs for years, and many firms have begun to expand their offerings. The pandemic, and the severe economic impact it had across industries, helped move the transition along.
CPAs have fought alongside their clients through the COVID-19 pandemic, and their work has been vital to businesses’ success through the crisis. The pandemic will have a long-lasting impact on the profession as CPAs are forced to adapt and grow for the benefit of their clients.
Accounting Firm Sold sells CPA, Accounting and Tax Firms. We have been matching buyers and sellers in the midwest for over 35 years. Whether you’re looking for an accounting practice to buy, or want to sell your accounting practice, you’re in the right place.