Firms See Tech Budgets Stagnating

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Almost two thirds (61 percent) of accounting firms will keep their technology budgets unchanged from last year, according to a new survey.

As reported in the 2014 Accounting Firm Operations and Technology Survey, only a third (31 percent) of responding firms plan to increase their tech budgets this year. The results vary depending on firm size, however, with only 17 percent of sole practitioners planning an increase, but 34 percent, 41 percent and 42 percent of small, midsized and large firms, respectively, planning to grow their budgets in this area.

At the same time, firms are more or less evenly split on the value of technology, with 43 percent saying that their primarily technology purchasing decision-maker views technology as a competitive differential, and 40 percent saying that they view it primarily as an expense.

Some other key findings of the wide-ranging survey:

  • Two thirds (66 percent) of respondents are not considering or reviewing any SaaS products.
  • More than half (54 percent) do not have a document retention policy for purging digital files.
  • Over a third (35 percent) bring in new clients through their Web site.
  • Almost half (47 percent) use a Web portal to deliver at least some returns to clients.
  • Attracting new clients was the top management challenge for all firms, followed by identifying opportunities for practice improvement and cost savings.

The survey was recently released as an e-book; you can purchase a copy for $995 and download a free executive summary here.

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