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Three Technology Upgrades CPAs Should Make Now

These three simple tips will help you keep pace with the rapidly evolving technology transforming the accounting profession. By Alek Pirkhalo | Digital Exclusive - 2021

As a CPA, you are increasingly reliant on technology to navigate the world of accounting and finance. A 2019 Sage report suggests that 90 percent of accountants feel that there is a cultural shift in accountancy that leans toward technological adoption. CPAs must find ways to keep up with the exponentially increasing pace of technological change if they want to stay relevant and continue delivering high-value strategic advice to their clients. Here are three concrete ways you can upgrade your tools and knowledge base.

Step 1: Update your current technologies.

It is hard to ignore the price tag of the latest accounting technologies, but there comes a time when you need to evaluate whether your current technologies are really meeting your needs. You could be losing money and sacrificing valuable time by sticking with outdated software, which often requires ever-increasing costs to navigate and maintain.

In addition, you could be jeopardizing the efficiencies of your management systems, data storage, security, and document retrieval. By reevaluating your true needs and whether your current technology is meeting them, you have the option to take advantage of newer and more versatile accounting software that could upgrade your operations, reduce the time spent on minor tasks, and generate greater client satisfaction.

Step 2: Upgrade to cloud-based storage.

As mentioned before, there is a risk to sticking with outdated technologies. This is especially true for accountants who stick with local storage instead of upgrading to cloud-based storage, which offers an enhanced security component. In fact, a 2017 Accounting Today survey found that 58 percent of large accounting companies utilize cloud accounting in their operations.

There are other important reasons for adopting cloud-based storage: It can reduce costs, improve scalability, and speed up your organization as a whole.

Step 3: Upgrade your skill set.

A 2020 Sage report found that 51 percent of accountants surveyed indicate that their top skill needed is technology literacy, but finding the time and money to invest in upskilling can be a challenge. If you’re already overworked, taking the time to attend technology courses or conferences can feel impossible. But if you allow these challenges to hold you back, you will eventually find yourself far behind the curve.

So take the leap and splurge on some technological upskilling. You can also choose to work with vendors who bundle software upgrades with training to save on costs. These investments will pay off with improved efficiency and an expanded skill set.

The accounting and finance profession have already largely transformed due to technology, and the pace of change is only speeding up. For CPAs who hope to remain relevant in the long-term, these three tips can help you maintain a strategic advantage.

Alek Pirkhalo is a co-founder of Infiniwiz, an IT support and consulting company based in Palatine, Ill.

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