Accounting firms challenged in adapting to technology changes

Only 25 percent of accounting firms feel extremely confident about their ability to keep pace in the current environment of technology changes, according to a report.

The survey, released by Wolters Kluwer Tax & Accounting at its CCH Connections user conference in Miami Beach last month, found the five top concerns cited by the firms it polled were:

1. Keeping up with technological change;

2. Growing the business;

3. Meeting client expectations;

4. Data security;

5. Completing work accurately and on time.

Nearly half the firms polled (43 percent) felt that the pace of technological change might be moving too fast. The feeling was slightly more pronounced at smaller firms than at midsized and larger firms. Half the firms (50 percent) felt technology was moving at about the right pace to keep up with client needs, while 8 percent of the firms polled said technology was moving too slowly.

Pace of technology change for accounting firms

Three out of four firms felt uncertain about their ability to have anytime, anywhere access to technology solutions, finding the right combination of solutions to serve clients, fully utilizing new technology as it is developed, and addressing new services in light of new legislation.

“There’s a strong need to know what’s happening,” Jason Marx, CEO of Wolters Kluwer Tax and Accounting North America, told Accounting Today. “When you to firms, regardless of size, there’s a lot coming at them: the complexity of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the speed at which things are changing, the adoption of technology. As I talk to people, change is something that is really top of mind for them. The other is speed. They want to move fast, and they want us to move fast and deliver new technologies and bring those innovations into the platforms. Those two things are what drive us as an organization, but they’re also what’s driving the change in the marketplace.”

For a copy of the survey, visit https://engagetax.wolterskluwer.com/Survey2018.

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