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Few professions call on the sheer number of tools that accounting does.

In order to provide their incredible range of clients (literally everyone, both as individuals and businesses) with the vast number of services they offer (from the simplest of fill-in-the-blank compliance, to the most complex of forward-looking strategic planning, to the deepest of analytical dives), the average accountant will find themselves using dozens of software programs, apps, research services, databases, educational resources, reference books, and often multiple versions of the same dedicated to different industries.

It should come as no surprise, then, that vendors produce such a wide range of tools for the profession; what is surprising, though, is how often trends emerge in product development, and how often these are reflected in the very best products — those that make Accounting Today’s Top New Products. A few years ago, it seemed as if everyone was rushing to the cloud; a year or so later, it seemed like every other vendor had released a mobile app; more recently, tools that engaged with data were all the rage.

This year’s trend is somewhat different, in that it focuses on a service area, rather than a technology or a type of tool. The last few years have seen an explosion in the number of tools available for auditors, and this year saw more than ever. This matches a growing expectation that this most-traditional of accounting services is on the verge of a revolution — a revolution driven, in no small part, by the new tools available to its practitioners.