2024 Tech Trends to Grow Your Accounting Practice

Tim Sines

Are you ready to make your accounting practice even more successful in the new year? In this guide, we’re sharing top technology trends that are changing accounting workflows in 2024 and beyond. From smart software that thinks like a human to secure ways of keeping track of money, these trends are big news for anyone in accounting.

But these aren’t simply cool gadgets and gizmos—they’re tools that can make your job easier and more accurate while enabling you to give better advice to your clients. Ready for the reveal? Let’s go.

Trend #1: AI and Machine Learning in Accounting Practices

Trend #1: AI and Machine Learning in Accounting Practices

If you haven’t already, it’s time to embrace artificial intelligence (AI).

What is AI?

Artificial intelligence is a branch of computer science that enables machines to mimic human intelligence. This means machines, through AI, can perform tasks like recognizing patterns, making decisions, and solving problems.

But don’t feel threatened. When it comes to accounting, AI isn’t the robot apocalypse we’ve all secretly dreaded. AI isn’t taking over our jobs. Instead, AI technology enhances the role of the accountant.

Think of AI as a powerful assistant that can handle time-consuming tasks so that you can focus on more strategic, analytical, and advisory roles. This shift may free you up to engage more deeply with your clients and contribute to higher-level decision-making within your practice. AI in accounting is about leveraging technology to augment human expertise, not replace it.

Here are easy ways to introduce AI into your daily accounting workflow in 2024:

Chatbots for Client Interaction

Integrate a simple AI chatbot on your practice’s website or client portal. These bots can be programmed to answer frequently asked questions and provide instant responses to client inquiries. AI-powered chatbots can free up time for your staff by handling basic client queries, such as questions about invoices or account balances.

Automated Report Generation

Use accounting software, like Mango Practice Management, that includes AI-driven reporting features. You can set it up to generate weekly, monthly, or annual financial reports automatically.

By integrating AI into your accounting practices, you’ll not only improve efficiency but also gain valuable insights, enhance accuracy, and be able to offer better service to your clients.

Trend #2: Automation of Routine Tasks in Accounting Workflows

Accounting automation is the use of software to handle routine financial tasks that would normally be done manually. This includes entering data into ledgers, calculating figures, generating invoices, and preparing financial reports.

Likely, you’ve already automated some of your work, but the trend for this year is to automate as much as you can. This way, the software does the repetitive work while saving time and reducing the chance of human error. Then, you and your team can dedicate more time to the aspects of your job that require human insight and expertise, such as strategic planning and client relationships.

Automation leads to greater efficiency.

Here are practical ways to introduce automation into your accounting workflow in 2024:

Accounting Software With Built-In Automation Features

Use software that does some of your tasks for you. Software with built-in automation features can take care of tasks, like invoicing and account reconciliation, in the background without your manual input. By using this kind of software, you have an automated assistant who can handle the boring paperwork.

Automated Tax Preparation and Filing

Tax automation software simplifies the process of preparing and filing taxes. It can handle tasks like calculating tax liabilities, filling out tax forms, and even submitting tax returns electronically. This technology is especially useful for keeping up with changing tax laws and regulations.

Use software that automatically calculates taxes owed based on financial data. This includes income tax, sales tax, and other business-related taxes. Also, choose software that supports electronic filing (e-filing) of tax returns. This not only speeds up the process but also helps in tracking the status of submissions.

Be sure to implement tax software that integrates seamlessly with your existing accounting systems. This ensures that all financial data is directly and accurately reflected in your tax calculations.

Finally, use software that stays updated with the latest tax laws and regulations. This feature is crucial for maintaining compliance and avoiding penalties.

By embracing automation in your accounting practices, you’re setting your practice up for greater accuracy, efficiency, and overall success. Like AI, automation isn’t about taking away jobs. Instead, it’s about empowering you and your team to focus on the more impactful aspects of your work.

These tech trends aren't cool gadgets and gizmos—they're tools that can make your accounting job easier and more accurate while enabling you to give better advice to your clients. Share on X

Trend #3: Cloud Computing in Accounting Practices

The accounting industry is finally entering the era of cloud computing and you don’t want to be left behind.

Cloud computing involves using online platforms to handle your accounting operations. This means that instead of relying on local computers and servers, your data and applications are stored and accessed over the internet. Cloud computing offers a world of benefits, including real-time data access, improved collaboration, and enhanced security measures. You now have your entire accounting office in your pocket and it’s accessible from anywhere at any time.

Working in the cloud means that the accounting industry is more agile and adaptable than ever before. It allows you and your clients to stay connected and up-to-date, regardless of your physical location.

Here are ways to integrate cloud computing into your accounting practice in 2024:

Real-Time Data Access and Collaboration

Adopt cloud-based accounting software that provides real-time access to financial data. This allows for immediate updates and collaboration, and it makes it easier for you to manage your client’s finances. Be sure to work with software that enables better client collaboration through cloud-based file sharing.

Mango Practice Management includes a feature known as MangoShare that allows you and your clients to securely send and receive documents and e-signatures by email. No PDFs and without logging into the client portal. This is a game-changer in real-time collaboration.

Enhanced Security and Backup

Choose cloud software that offers robust security measures and regular data backups. This ensures that your practice’s sensitive financial data is protected against cyber threats and data loss.

By moving to cloud computing, your accounting practice can respond quickly to client needs and market changes. But this technology isn’t just a trend for 2024. The move to cloud computing is happening industry-wide and it represents a fundamental shift in how accounting services are delivered and managed.

Trend #4: Blockchain for Transparency in Accounting Practices

Trend #4: Blockchain for Transparency in Accounting Practices

Blockchain refers to using a decentralized and secure digital ledger system to record transactions. Each transaction is recorded as a ‘block’ and linked to previous and subsequent transactions. With this, it creates a tamper-proof chain.

You may have heard of blockchain in conversation about cryptocurrency. But blockchain is more than a technology behind cryptocurrencies. It offers a solution for maintaining transparent and secure financial records.

If you’re a complete beginner to this technology, blockchain can be complicated and overwhelming. So, let’s look at a relatively easy way to integrate blockchain technology into your accounting workflow for 2024.

Smart Contracts for Efficiency

A smart contract is a self-executing contract with the terms of the agreement between buyer and seller being directly written into lines of code. The code and the agreements contained therein exist across a distributed, decentralized blockchain network. Smart contracts allow transactions and agreements to be carried out automatically without the need for a central authority, legal system, or external enforcement mechanism.

But, if you’re completely new to blockchain and smart contracts, how do you start using this technology?

First, familiarize yourself with the basic concepts of blockchain and smart contracts. There are many online resources and courses available for beginners. Next, think about simple, repetitive transactions in your business that could be automated. For instance, releasing payment upon delivery of goods. You can work on this with your vendors before implementing it with your clients.

Next, choose a platform. Several blockchain platforms support smart contracts, such as Ethereum. Choose one that suits your needs and level of expertise. Many platforms offer smart contract templates for common use cases. As a beginner, you can start with these templates and customize them as needed.

Before implementing, test the smart contract in a controlled environment to ensure it works as intended. Once tested, the smart contract can be implemented for real transactions.

For a complete beginner, the key is to start small, use available resources and templates, and gradually build up understanding and experience. You can also consult with or hire a blockchain expert, especially when dealing with complex contracts or large sums of money, to ensure that everything is set up correctly and securely.

Adopting blockchain in your accounting practice not only positions you at the forefront of technological innovation but also enhances your practice’s credibility and trustworthiness in handling financial transactions.

Trend #5: Big Data Analytics in Accounting

Embrace the power of big data analytics to transform your accounting practice into a more insightful and strategic advisory service.

First off, what is big data analytics?

In accounting, big data analytics refers to the process of analyzing vast amounts of financial data to uncover hidden patterns, correlations, and insights. This technology enables accountants to move beyond traditional number-crunching to offering strategic business insights and more informed decision-making.

How to Implement Big Data Analytics in 2024:

Start Collecting Big Data

Tools like QuickBooks allow practices to aggregate financial data from various sources. They can integrate with bank accounts, payment platforms, and other financial tools to collect a comprehensive set of data.

Platforms like Tableau or Microsoft Power BI are powerful for analyzing and visualizing data. They can handle large datasets and provide insightful dashboards so that it’s easier to identify trends and patterns.

If your practice is dealing with large volumes of complex data from multiple sources, it might be a good idea to hire or contract with a dedicated professional who specializes in big data. But you can also evaluate the current capabilities of your team. If you already have staff with strong data analytics skills, they might be able to manage the data with additional training.

By incorporating big data analytics into your accounting services, you not only enhance your practice’s analytical capabilities but also offer a more proactive and customized approach to client service.

Final Thoughts

What do you think about the five tech trends that are coming our way in 2024?

Change can be uncomfortable but, by embracing these trends, you can set your practice up for success. Technology is only getting smarter and these trends can enable your practice to do tasks faster, make fewer mistakes, and offer smart advice based on solid information.

Now’s the time to dive into these technologies and see how they can help your practice stay ahead and do great work.

You can start by setting up your free demo with Mango Practice Management now. We’ll help you stay on trend while increasing your efficiency and focus.

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