The Newest Top Ten Tech Trends in Tax and Accounting

Beyond paperless: CPA firms launch a new arms race for cloud and mobile technologies.

by Rick Telberg
CPA Trendlines Research

Leading CPA firms have clearly broken the going-paperless barrier and are adopting cloud and mobile technologies at a record pace, according to new data obtained by CPA Trendlines Research.

Indeed, the question for practitioners is no longer “have you gone paperless yet?” or even “how paperless have you gone?” It is now “how much of your workflows have you moved to the cloud and made mobile and accessible everywhere and any time?” And the rest of the firms are asking themselves, “can I catch up?”

The trend is, of course, a daily challenge for the profession, which CPA Trendlines covers in depth: CPA Trendlines Analysis: 40% of Firms Going to the Cloud  |  How Apple Is Changing Your Business  | Accounting Firm Leaders Agree: The Cloud Is Here  |  11 Things You Take for Granted Today that Technology Will Kill within Six Years  |  Top 10 Tech Predictions for Your Business Clients  |  Cloud & Mobile Technologies Drive Change in Tax and Accounting  |    Five Questions to Ask before Going to the Cloud  |   “The Cloud is Real”  |  The Powerful Mega-Trends Behind the Upheaval at Sage Software  |   CPAs in Top 100 Accounting Firms Get an “A” for Adoption of Cloud, Portable Document Scanners and Workflow Management Technologies    |    Top Tech Habits of High-Performing Firms  |  Seven Tech Lessons for Busy Season   |

But the pace is astonishing. A new survey of 115 of some of the best-managed firms in the business shows:

  • Smart phones for handling email, contacts and schedules are all but universal.
  • Email now dominates client communications, not the phone call.
  • Paper W2’s and 1099’s are practically extinct, having been scanned at first touch.
  • And if you’re using only two monitors on your desk, you’re getting left behind. Most of the advanced firms are now using three per person. And that’s not counting the smartphones or iPads that are always nearby.

The survey shows, for instance: