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5 Issues Affecting Accountants

Published on January 24 2018 by
Frederic Voyer PMP, CPA, CCP
CEO of

With rapid technological changes in most industries, it isn’t surprising that change is also occurring in the staid and seemingly static world of accounting. So here, in no particular order are the five issues currently affecting Accounting firms:

1. Commodification

Increased competition between accounting firms often leads to two responses. Some firms decide to cut costs and lower their prices. Others try to find new lines of business such as management consulting where there are some synergies with their current clients. Either way, there seems to be a race to the bottom for lower-end services like tax preparation, bookkeeping and the like.

2. Differentiation

With this increased competition, firms are having a difficult time differentiating themselves from each other. Accounting is accounting is accounting. The whole point is that it is done consistently the same by everyone. So unless your firm can offer something unique in addition to accounting, you are going to have challenging times ahead.

3. Reconception

One of the ways firms can differentiate themselves is by taking a hard look at what they offer their clients and asking themselves if it is really what the client needs and wants.

4. Technology

With rapid technology advancements, especially in the computer field, accounting firms are having a hard time keeping their technology up to date. Furthermore, with the internet, a whole world of competitors are now knocking on your client’s doors offering price points that you can’t possibly match due to the huge gap in exchange rates.

5. Recruitment and Retention

To attract the best and brightest and to keep them, today’s firms have to offer not only interesting work that makes a difference in the world, but also a competitive paycheck, and opportunities to grow and learn new skills to improve their business acumen.

Change is happening; it’s happening fast; no one escapes. As Toefler said, “The illiterate of the 21st century will be those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.” Businesses that survive will be the ones who can adapt the quickest to the changes forced on them by outside forces.

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