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Who it matters to: Primarily very small and start-up firms.

The details: With all the desks and equipment and filing cabinets and photos on the walls, it’s easy to confuse your office for your firm. After all, it’s where your staff go to work every day, and it’s where your clients send their checks. But an accounting firm isn’t an office — it’s a collection of people with a common purpose. And now it doesn’t have to be much more than that, with the cloud enabling “virtual firms” with no offices, no server room, no receptionist and no water cooler.

Midsized and large firms with significant legacy investments in leases and equipment will find it hard to move to a virtual environment, but small firms should have an easier time — and start-ups will find it easier and cheaper than ever to get up and running.