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What is Trending in Accounting Firms- Large and Small?

November 12, 2014 by Ed Becker

Globalization has created many new and exciting trends across the board for industries, even accounting. If you are a small, isolated business owner, you may notice these trends a lot slower. Regardless of where you are in the changing times, at some point your company is going to have to come to terms with globalization or you’ll fall behind to competitors who are both open and flexible.

Social Listening

Some think this is spying on your clients, but really it is just getting to know them better in order to offer better services. Following clients on social media allows you to know what they are thinking and doing and what really matters to them in an unguarded way. You can also find out about their family and special dates in their lives. This is marketing knowledge that can keep you engaged with clients.
This is also a great tool to keep you abreast of what competitors are up to. But remember, they are most likely keeping tabs on you as well so make sure you keep your social media publically acceptable.

SME- Subject Matter Expert and Beyond

You are already your clients’ SME in finances, taxes, or accounting but you also want to ensure that you are noted as an expert in their industry. So if you have a client that sells car wash services, you want to be on top of trends in the car washing industry. Whatever industry your clients specialize in, you should have some expert knowledge of where it is going and current trends.

Obamacare is a topic that is going to need SME if you have small business clients. It is confusing and they will be looking to someone they trust who can sort out the processes for them. Knowing the ins and outs of healthcare exchanges and tax issues concerning healthcare will offer your clients these services by someone they already trust. The window to learn and offer this knowledge is going to be short lived, and your clients are going to need this very soon.

No Borders- The World is Flat

With the internet, it is often said that the playing field is flat. More opportunities are available to people in remote and undeveloped areas as long as they have internet access. Freelance populations are going by leaps and bounds. As a firm, or even a small remotely located business, at some point you will most likely run into international clients or have clients with some sort of international ties. Expect to have some global influence at that point, so be ready for it.

Security- IT Issues

With many clients constantly connected, many of your ‘meetings’ may not be in person or on the phone, they will be through email or text messages which need to be secured. For firms that communicate mostly through in-house messages, there needs to be internal IT security measures. But for those with smaller businesses or a mobile staff, there should also be inexpensive encryption technology or cloud based programs that integrate their own security.

Taking advantage of new trends will keep your firm or small business in good standing with your clients. Realizing that you need to grow with your clients and their businesses is something that will put you ahead of competitors who are reluctant to adapt in the future. In the next segment, we will discuss other current and future trends that are important for your business.

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