Intuit Accountants has released the 2023 Intuit QuickBooks Accountant Technology Survey, which aimed to gauge how accountants feel about big changes in the accounting industry and how they are reacting to those changes. If you know me, you know I LOVE data. I couldn’t wait to dig in and learn what they found. Read on to learn more about the key findings of the survey. According to the survey, technology and artificial intelligence (AI) play a vital role in driving growth and improving efficiency for accounting firms. The survey, which collected responses from 2,000 US accountants, certainly indicated that the industry is looking to technology to overcome the decline in talent and remains optimistic about the future.
Technology is Enhancing Client Relationships
Accountants are leveraging technology to save time and offer more comprehensive services. The survey found that 82% of accountants believe technology is creating more meaningful client interactions. By leveraging technology, accountants can better understand their clients' financial situations, provide real-time insights, and build stronger relationships. Well-implemented technology saves time on repetitive tasks and frees up capacity so we can focus on spending time with clients and having meaningful conversations.
The survey found that 48% of accountants plan to invest in automation tools and artificial intelligence (AI) over the next 12 months. Technologies such as blockchain are gaining traction, with 47% of accountants planning to invest in it within the next year. The survey also reported that accountants expect to spend an average of $15,800 on technology in 2023.
The survey also revealed that 93% of accountants consider real-time financial insights crucial for business success and survival. Companies that use technology to access real-time financial data are more likely to survive a recession, according to 84% of accountants. As a result, accountants are focusing on delivering real-time insights to help their clients make informed decisions and navigate economic challenges.
Combatting Hiring Challenges
It is no secret that the accounting industry is currently facing a shortage of young professionals entering the field. In fact, 90% of accountants said they have experienced hiring challenges over the past year. However, 85% of accountants believe that technology can help reverse this trend by making work more engaging and fulfilling. By implementing new technologies and offering mentorship programs, accounting firms are hoping they can attract and retain young talent.
The widening of the talent pool is crucial because accounting practices are experiencing growth, with 82% of professionals expecting business expansion in the near future. A majority (86%) agree that technology is the driving force behind this growth, as it boosts revenue through efficiency gains and increases income streams. Accountants are eager to improve their use of technology to predict future business performance and better understand real-time business data.
Addressing Accuracy Concerns
Despite the many benefits of technology, accountants remain concerned about ensuring accuracy. The survey found that 31% of accountants see accuracy as the biggest challenge when adopting new technologies. As the industry continues to embrace technology, finding ways to maintain precision and reliability will remain a top priority.
Creating a Competitive Advantage
Accounting firms are actively seeking ways to create a competitive advantage in the face of hiring challenges and a dwindling pipeline of young professionals. According to the survey, accountants are combatting these challenges by implementing strategies that include mentoring younger professionals, helping with qualification costs, providing advancement opportunities, and offering training. Furthermore, 87% of accountants recognize the importance of succession planning to ensure the long-term success of their businesses.
You can access all the results of the survey here. While there were no giant surprises here, the survey did validate what I think most accountants have been feeling. We’ve been hearing the chatter for years now about how AI is coming for our profession, and I love that our industry is doing what it should to embrace the change and make the tech work for us rather than instead of us.