Predicting the accounting buzzword of 2021 (and how to capitalize on it now)

A new era of accounting has begun.

Remote teams, dramatically increased workloads, client uncertainty and few concrete answers—these were just a few impacts COVID-19 has introduced to the accounting industry.

As a result, new buzzwords and phrases emerged overnight:

  • Working from home

  • New normal

  • Unprecedented

  • Now more than ever

  • Disruption

  • Pivot

With 2020 left behind, it’s time to look ahead. What buzzwords can you expect in 2021 that will help define what will undoubtedly be another uncertain year?

This is the stand-out buzzword the experts predict will trump all others in 2021:

Integration

Knowing how to select the right tools for your firm and design your tech stack is crucial in setting your firm up for success.

You and your team will benefit more than ever from streamlined data, being completely connected despite working remotely, and harnessing the efficiency gains associated with automating tasks.

With firms working remotely like never before, it’s now the most important time to assess your firm’s tech stack.

And here lies 2021’s predicted buzzword: integration

Ron Lesh from BGL Corporate Solutions explains that the next 12 months are all about ecosystems:

It's all about connections. That's where I really think the future is. It's how we connect all of this together first for our practice because then it becomes connectable for our clients.
Ron Lesh, Founder & Managing Director, BGL Corporate Solutions

A thoughtfully integrated tech stack for your firm will help you successfully navigate the uncharted waters ahead.

But it’s not just your firm’s internal workings that will benefit.

Jim Buffington from Intuit Accountants predicts integration will go beyond your staff in 2021:

Now it's about engaging more deeply with clients. I think what we're going to see is a lot more applications plugging in that are going to help make client experiences more productive.
Jim Buffington, Advisory Services Leader, Intuit Accountants

Jim expects more integrated and automated client communication journeys using tools like Karbon’s Client Tasks, Zoom and Calendly, making the whole process more collaborative and seamless between firms and their clients.

Knowing how to select the right tools to successfully integrate your tech stack requires consideration. Don’t rush this process—the time spent making the right selection is time saved later.

How to choose the best integrated tech stack for your firm

Optimizing your tech stack, or starting from scratch, is no small feat. You’ll need to assess your firm’s needs and prioritize the options available.

You can use this template to help you evaluate the technology available to your accounting practice and clients, to ultimately identify the best solutions.

Make sure you’re ticking the right boxes during your research with the following structure:

  1. Identify your major issues (and opportunities)

  2. Prioritize your infrastructure

  3. Review the options for your top priorities

  4. Evaluate the potential vendors

  5. Decide the criteria that are most important to your firm

  6. Assign a weighting to each criteria

  7. Score your vendor options based on the criteria weighting

  8. Calculate the scores

  9. Trial your winner

Step-by-step instructions for you to complete this process: Selecting the right technology for the modern accounting practice

As you go, you’ll want to ask yourself some questions too:

  • Does it live up to your expectations?

  • Will it solve your problem?

  • Does it integrate the way you need it to?

Become a digital-first, integrated accounting firm

By using this structure, you'll confidently be able to identify the solutions that are right for your firm and clients, adopting the right technology at the right time that will make your firm more efficient, give you a vital competitive advantage, and embody that all-important buzzword: integration.

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