Workflow was identified as one of the top technology challenges in the second annual Accounting Firm Operations and Technology survey ebook, though workflow software is absent from 38 percent of the survey respondents’ offices.

The ebook was released by Network Management Group CEO and founder Randy Johnston, Insight Research Group CEO Leslie Garrett, and CPA Practice Advisor technology editor Brian Tankersley. Published in cooperation with CPA Trendlines president and CEO Rick Telberg, the survey asks 86 questions, with the results benchmarked against last year's responses.

“We are very pleased with this year’s survey participation, we have respondents from all 50 states, and our number of respondents doubled over last year’s results, further validating the data,” stated Garrett.

Asked the top three challenges in managing their firm, nearly half of the 632 respondents—73 percent of which are the key decision-makers in their firms—said attracting new clients. Other top challenges were identifying opportunities for practice improvement and cost savings, managing workflow, and understanding the technology options and selecting the right ones for their practice.

Workflow was also a top technology challenge, with 30 percent of respondents saying workflow and efficiency will be the biggest issue in managing their practice in the next one to three years. Meanwhile, asked to identify their firms’ workflow software, 38 percent said they had none and were not considering any while 24 percent also don’t implement any but are considering doing so.

Firms continue to lag in adopting other tools, including mobile device management, practice management, time and billing and CRM software.

On the cloud front, nearly half of the firms do not use pure SaaS accounting products, and results were wide-ranging on whether they planned to over the next two years.

The ebook drills down deeper into specific solutions firms are using and their technology budgets, as well as the demographics of responding firms and practice management trends. The publication also includes “inside the numbers” insight, consulting commentary for each section, a trend watch identifying specific developing trends, and thought leadership from experts in the profession including Accounting Today editor-in-chief Dan Hood.

The survey also asked participants to identify accounting practice application software that has had the greatest impact on the firm in the areas of productivity, profitability and risk mitigation. The winners were:

  • Productivity: Intuit QuickBooks
  • Profitability: CCH, a Wolters Kluwer business
  • Risk Mitigation: Thomson Reuters

A copy of the ebook can be purchased in the CPA Trendlines store.

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