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Six Accounting Trends to Keep an Eye on in 2022

January 10, 2022

The accounting industry is changing. For the better. And coming off two years that were chock-full of disruption and transformation, the accounting industry has had to rapidly adopt to the sweeping impacts from these disruptions. As we ease into a new year, we look ahead to what is on the horizon for accounting firms in 2022.

1. Technology will continue to transform the industry

Automation has already streamlined so much of the accountant role, and further emerging technologies will continue to do so. Cloud-based accounting software has grown significantly in popularity in recent years; 94% of accountants have adopted cloud solutions. Those firms that have adopted cloud accounting are able to accommodate five times as many clients due to automation.

The ways in which artificial intelligence (AI) is influencing the field continues to grow. From fraud detection to strategic forecasting to auditing, AI is delivering more accuracy and richer insights than ever before. Freeing accountants up to focus on a heightened and more personalized experience for their clients.

2. Sustainability is top of mind

The 26th United Nation Climate Change Conference (COP26) was held in November and the need for increased climate action was discussed at length, with nation leaders committing to stepping up their carbon reduction efforts. Shortly thereafter, the IFRS Foundation established the International Sustainability Standards Board to develop global reporting standards for environmental, social, and governance (ESG) matters.

CPAs have an important role to play in, not only helping their clients to navigate ESG reporting, but also in identifying sustainability opportunities and risks.

3. Accounting outsourcing will continue to increase

Given that it is projected that 22,300 new jobs will be created in the accounting sector in the coming six years, yet only 21,700 are expected to enter the industry, an accounting labour shortage seems imminent. This is where outsourcing comes in. Outsourcing has been on the grow across the board. IT and accounting services are now the most sought-after outsourcing services, with 54% of organizations using outsourced support teams. Tack onto this the Great Resignation, and a further increase in the outsourcing of accounting functions seems inevitable.

4. Blockchain is impacting the industry

Love it or hate it, cryptocurrency is here to stay. Consider these statistics:

  • 1.2 million Canadians own cryptocurrency;
  • Almost 32% of millennials own cryptocurrency;
  • There are over 1000 crypto ATMs in Canada, including 370 Bitcoin ATMs in Toronto; and
  • Over 100 businesses in Vancouver accept crypto as a method of payment.

As adoption of cryptocurrency continues to grow, accountants need to understand how to work with clients that invest in or trade the currency and be in-the-know on its tax effects.

5. Work-life balance is a priority

When COVID swept the globe and many moved to a remote work environment, work-life balance was a challenge to maintain as extra pressures crept in and the lack of a clear delineation between work and home life was the norm. 41% of Canadians believe that work-life balance is harder to achieve now than it was in the past, and accountants in particular are known to struggle with this due to the high-stakes nature of their role. Finding ways to create a culture that values and encourages a healthy work-life balance for employees will be a priority for many organizations as we head into 2022.

6. Accounting firms will become more holistic and less transactional

Given the increasingly on-demand nature of our society, it should come as no surprise that clients are looking for more from their accountants. Once strictly responsible for ‘rear view’ activities such as tax return preparation and bookkeeping, today’s consumers are now looking for a ‘windshield’ approach from their accountants. They are seeking support in helping them to identify and meet their longer-term personal and business goals. As a most trusted advisor, accountants are uniquely positioned to deliver customized solutions and advice. We’ve watched this shift in the role of the accountant play out across the border in the United States, and now WealthCo’s Integrated Advisory model is bringing this holistic client experience to Canada.

Are you interested in further exploring how your firm can grow revenue by deepening your client services and value? Let’s schedule a time to discuss further.

Watch: How to Grow Your CPA Firm Without Increasing Your Billable Hours