For the record, I am unabashedly pro-Intuit®. I have worked closely with their team this past year and have been constantly amazed by the level of commitment, innovation, dedication and curiosity that their individual team members embody.

I attended Intuit’s recent QuickBooks® Connect event in San Jose this year as one of about 100 VIP guests. The overarching theme for QB Connect was “Learn. Connect. Grow.” The event itself was an amazing collection of activities, including:

  • Motivational speakers showcasing the important role entrepreneurs play in the global economy.
  • Thought leaders in the accounting industry, highlighting how accountants are driving innovation and change.
  • Product showcase featuring approximately 200 key players in the accounting software industry.

Intuit wove a compelling tale of the Firm of the Future throughout the event. Brad Smith (Intuit CEO) and Jim McGinnis (vice president, Intuit Accountant Segment) shared their insight into the future of the accounting industry and Intuit’s role in leading the necessary changes. I will share my thoughts on the event in a series of posts.

Industry Transformation

Intuit has identified four key trends emerging that will result in the complete transformation of the accounting industry. Each trend presents us with unique opportunities if we are open to embracing change. Obviously, the status quo will still exist in the near term for those that choose to resist change. However, I see that as a perilous choice! My thoughts on the four key trends include:

  1. Cloud: Internet-based computing solutions now provide greater opportunities for collaboration and sharing real-time information. Small service providers will be able to access world class infrastructures at a fraction of the historical cost.
  2. Big data: Business owners are demanding that their accounting professionals provide their businesses with value through insights and analysis. Business owners are looking for guidance as they interpret their current daily information, as opposed to looking for historical information based on prior year data. Affordable cloud solutions are bringing the “big data” concept to small business.
  3. Mobile first: A new generation of business owners is emerging. They are digital natives, and many have never had to conduct business in a world that did not include the Internet and smart phones. This new generation of business owner is looking for immediate insight delivered to their portable devices, whether that is a smart phone, tablet, laptop or other mobile device. Consumers are expecting that their accounting professionals can provide this instant access to them.
  4. Social: Business owners are becoming more active with social media, giving accounting professionals unprecedented reach. This trend also enhances client power, as they are able to locate information on their own and make truly informed decisions when retaining the services of an accounting professional.

Conclusion

These trends indicate a shift towards being client-centric. Clients expect that their accounting professionals will guide small business into the future. Early adopters of technology are already being rewarded by the marketplace. Do you want to innovate, or be left behind?

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