While "shoebox" clients - those who keep their financial data in the form of receipts in a shoebox - still exist, their numbers are declining as technology becomes more advanced and affordable, and CPAs are seizing that niche opportunity.In a May, a study by researcher NPD Group reported an 11 percent increase in IT spending from 2004 to 2005 for businesses with from five to 99 employees. Forrester Research analysts Liz Herbert and Michael Speyer found that 25 percent of businesses with fewer than 1,000 employees surveyed considered deploying or upgrading their accounting software an important initiative this year, with 49 percent looking to local or regional firms for implementing or integrating their software applications.

As business software and technology implementations have trickled down from the enterprise level to the small business sector, great opportunities have opened up for tech-savvy CPAs. Advising on accounting software is just one of the opportunities that CPAs can take advantage of to grow their book of business and help their clients keep more accurate financial data.

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