Looking Forward to 2017 and Beyond...
I recently attended the Xero Road Show in Atlanta. It was one of the first large trainings / conferences I've attended as a Bookkeeping professional. There was a recurring theme throughout the day - Change is inevitable.
Within the fields of Accounting and Bookkeeping in particular, change is moving at lightning speed. As such, we need to embrace it, or it will simply pass us by.
Here are some takeaways that I want to share with you in looking forward to 2017 and beyond. Some of these considerations you may already be aware of, but others may be a pleasant surprise:
Data Management is the future. During the past several years - and even in the last couple of years' time - technology is helping us to do our jobs faster and with more efficiency than ever before. New platforms, new apps that integrate with these new platforms, and new virtual communications tools - all of these technological advances will become increasingly important in how we do our work now and in years to come. We need to embrace these new ways of doing things so that we become increasingly efficient in the work we do for our clients and consumers.
Accountants and Bookkeepers will still be around, but re-purposed. Fortunately, the technological boom within our profession will NOT render us obsolete. In fact, we will become increasingly sought after as we transition into key roles of trusted advisers, teachers, mentors, and coaches. We also need to be in a constant state of learning and development of our skills - as well as choosing to focus on those verticals / specialties we know we are good at and become the EXPERT / "Go-to" person in those areas. Attending trainings and conferences as well as being in a constant state of learning will become increasingly important as our profession evolves. Indeed, we need to embrace these changes and be willing to adapt in this fluid environment to remain relevant in this ever-changing profession.
Partnerships will be increasingly important. As we start focusing on those areas where we become the EXPERT / "Go-to" person, it becomes increasingly important to align ourselves with others whose skill sets complement our own. Since we cannot be everything to everyone, we need to develop strategic partnerships with others who may offer services or possess areas of expertise that are "beyond our paygrade." For example, I partner with an Intuit reseller who possesses product knowledge as well as many local payroll providers (my areas of weakness) to provide a well-rounded choice of services for my clients and consumers. Building these partnerships will become increasingly important as we seek to remain relevant and to provide "added value" for our clients and consumers in this area of rapid technological change.
Indeed, these are exciting times! The Accounting and Bookkeeping professions are at a crossroads, and it is up to us to decide where we will take ourselves on this path of change. But embracing this change is a must if we are to remain relevant in this ever-evolving environment. I am ready - are YOU?