5 Ways Accounting Firms Can Implement Successful Innovations

Posted by Joseph Himy

“Innovation” might not be the first word you think of when describing an accounting firm, but the fact is that the successful accounting firms are always thinking of ways to keep up with modernization and the contemporary needs of clients. If your accounting firm isn’t thinking of ways to stay ahead, it might get left behind.

If you want to introduce more innovations to your firm, here are 5 ways to do so.

1. Create a Think Tank

When there are only one or two people at the helm making all the decisions, good ideas are likely to go unheard. With a think tank, several people have the opportunity to discuss ideas, keep their pulse on current issues, and brainstorm new plans, goals, and solutions.

2. Embrace Technology

There are so many new technologies available, it can be hard to digest them all at once. And you don’t need to. All you need to do is zero in on the one or two that can really make a difference to your firm. This can be artificial intelligence-powered automation, robotic software, cloud-based accounting, integrations, data analytics, project management, inbound marketing, and more.

If you do have the capacity to adopt several technologies at once, go for it. The latest advances in technology can reduce the amount of time accountants spend reviewing repetitive, tedious, data, and increase the time they spend helping their clients grow with better business strategies.

For example, Robotic Process Automation can be used to automate steps of the transactional process, thereby minimizing the risk of error.  Project management software can streamline efficiency and minimize micromanagement. There are virtually endless possibilities of how technology can improve your firm — it’s up to you to decide which will be most effective.

3. Think Long-Term and Don’t Lose Sight of the Goal

It’s easy to get bogged down in day-to-day responsibilities, tasks, and deadlines, but thinking long-term can help your firm examine how its core services should adapt to meet the future needs of clients. That’s the goal, right? When you can envision what your clients will demand of you in a few years, you can preempt them by coming up with solutions or products now. This can include taking steps to manage cryptocurrency, making client support available 24/7, and many other things.

4. Be Prepared to Take a Risk

Innovation, by definition, is risky. Yes, it can be risky trying to predict what your clients want and meeting their needs before they know how to express them. It can be risky adopting new technology, learning how to use it, and hoping it works with your company. But if you don’t risk anything, you remain stagnant, which is akin to moving backward. Accounting firms that aren’t afraid of risk have the chance to grow astronomically. Firms that are mired in fear won’t have much to look forward to.

5. Allocate Funds for Innovation

This may sound obvious, but it’s not. If a firm doesn’t include innovation in its annual budget, there won’t be funds to implement any of the innovative ideas. But if your firm does set aside cash for an innovation fund, it will be ready to turn a new idea into reality without having to scramble, take a loan, or raise more capital.

Innovating in a Way That’s Right for Your Firm

Innovation can take many forms, and while there are many good ideas, it’s important to choose the ones that will suit your company. If artificial intelligence seems strange to you, start with a more traditional think tank. If your firm doesn’t have so much money to spend on innovation, set aside just a little bit each month. Find ways that innovation can work for you, not against you.

Just make sure that your hesitancy and fears don’t hold you back, because if they do, you’ll be left playing catch-up while other firms pass you by. Instead, embrace innovation and be the firm that others look to as a paradigm of innovation.