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Technology Trends in Accounting 2021 Research Report
Discover the progress accountancy firms have made in their business and client service transformation, and what impact the pandemic has had on their use of technology.

Technology transformation trends in accounting research: a summary

Joris Van Der Gucht
Written by: Joris Van Der Gucht

We’re becoming connected accountants but are not there yet.

What does the future look like for accounting and what role does technology play? Those were two key questions we were looking to answer with our technology trends in accounting research. The results have given us a fascinating insight into the challenges and ambitions of accounting professionals.

The majority of our respondents can see where they need to be – 76% believe that in five years' time, most of their revenue will come from consultancy and advisory services, in contrast to today, where bookkeeping and compliance are their main business.

Yet when we look at the way accountants are using technology to achieve this goal, our survey shows most have responded well to the initial challenges and opportunities presented by technology and changing client expectations, but seem to have lost some momentum in their digital transformation.

Respondents have achieved a good level of digital maturity on foundational capabilities such as migrating to the cloud, data connectivity, and online collaboration with clients and colleagues. However, when it comes to the next stage – automating processes and standardising practices across the firm – the picture is less clear.

While everyone seems very clear about where they need to be – providing proactive advisory services – a small number are doing this today and there are significant obstacles to making progress – namely access to technology, skills, and new talent.

If you are one of those that needs to make progress, the good news is that the insights from our survey will help you develop a practical roadmap to get there, no matter what stage you've reached today.

Here’s a sneak peek at some of the headlines from the research:

  • 62% store all their client data digitally
  • 64% have automated key accounting workflows and processes
  • 28% can benchmark data across their client portfolio
  • 47% have access to data and insights to deliver advisory services to clients
  • 76% expect most of their revenue to come from advisory in five years' time
  • 52% see access to the right technology as the main threat to their future success

To get the full picture, and to see how you compare to your peers, download the full report for free. Download the research report.