4 min read

IT Moves Fast. Can You Keep Up?


Despite technology’s integral role in modern life, accounting firms are at a crossroads. The challenges are multifaceted, and the rapid progression of technology pressures firms to adapt and anticipate the future landscape of accounting or risk being left behind.



Technology Is Moving, Changing, Flipping, and Flopping Faster Than Ever 

Technological innovation is advancing at an unprecedented pace. It feels like each day brings a discovery, advancement, or AI tool that’s supposed to reshape our world. The cumulative effect of these innovations and changes is profoundly reshaping industries. 

Software advancements, cloud computing paradigms, and intricate data analysis tools are constantly emerging in accounting. However, this constant state of flux within the technological landscape imposes a significant challenge on accounting firms — particularly in their ability to invest intelligently in new technology. Firms must carefully manage their technology investments to enjoy the benefits of new systems without hastily purchasing assets that quickly lose value.


Will We Face a Technological Reckoning?

More and more, we’re seeing leaders of accounting firms suggest that we may be at an inflection point, where strategic decisions made (or not made) regarding technology investments could determine a firm’s longevity.

But everyone already knows and understands the urgency of embracing technology. They recognize the futility of resisting the push of tech. Right?

Adapt or Die — But Adapting Comes at a Price

It’s also not that simple. Great new tools come at great new prices — and by great, we mean costly, but in terms of time and financial cost. So, it’s not like accounting firms can buy every shiny new piece of software whenever they want. You have to be picky about what you spend your precious capital on.

Firms must consider that the initial financial investment extends beyond mere acquisition costs, enveloping upgrade fees, licensing, and the hidden costs associated with transitioning to new systems. There are also unaccounted-for time costs when teams receive training and adjust to the learning curve of a new system. And these will affect productivity and output levels across the business.

Training Your Team on a New System Is No Small Feat

Securing new technology is only the first step; equally crucial is ensuring that your staff is adept at using these tools effectively. This necessity leads accounting firms to invest in comprehensive training programs, workshops, and continuous learning initiatives to keep the workforce at the forefront of technological advancements. Effectively implementing these technologies across business operations introduces further costs, from restructuring workflows to adapting client services to accommodate new capabilities. 

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Mid-Sized Firms Have It Even Harder

For mid-sized accounting firms, the financial burden of staying technologically competitive is particularly pronounced. Compared to their larger counterparts, small to mid-sized firms often operate with tighter budgets and less fluid capital for investment, making it harder to justify the significant upfront and ongoing expenses associated with introducing state-of-the-art technology. Consequently, they face a steeper challenge in maintaining up-to-date service offerings and managing financial sustainability.


Strategy Is What’s Going to Make or Break Your IT Investments 

Now that we understand the stakes of adopting increasingly advanced technologies, strategic planning emerges as a critical factor for success. Effective strategic planning involves a comprehensive evaluation of technological options, a clear vision of the desired future state, and a roadmap for achieving it. Here are some strategic avenues for better IT implementation, along with some companies implementing these pointers.

Don’t Underestimate the Power of Partnerships

Partnerships and collaborations are invaluable for accounting firms aiming to bolster their technological capabilities. By allying with tech companies and service providers, firms can tap into a wealth of experience, resources, and innovative solutions that might be inaccessible. These relationships can also offer economies of scale, access to specialized knowledge, and the agility needed to adopt new technologies swiftly. 

For example, 

  • PwC has formed a strategic alliance with Harvey, an AI startup, to assist in legal work and develop use cases for tax.

  • KPMG has also expanded its relationship with Microsoft and OpenAI to put AI at the forefront of professional services.

  • EY used Microsoft’s Azure Open AI service across the EY Tax Copilot program to improve its payroll and indirect tax platforms.

While the companies listed above are anything but small, mid-sized firms also have a chance to partner with up-and-coming tech startups or software developers to maintain a competitive advantage in the changing market. 

Stay on the Curve

Because it’s impossible to be ahead of the curve. You don’t have to be deeply involved in the tech and IT space to spot trends and see improvement opportunities. Here are three key factors to pay attention to before you begin planning your IT integration strategy: 

  1. Automation and AI’s Impact: The integration of automation and AI is transforming accounting, promising streamlined operations, enhanced analytical insights, and improved accuracy in financial data. 

  2. Cloud Computing Advances: Cloud technology is revolutionizing accounting, enabling real-time data access, remote collaboration, and scalable solutions with reduced initial costs. This transition supports more dynamic responses to client and market demands.

  3. Changing Role of Accountants: With routine tasks automated, accountants’ roles are shifting towards providing strategic insights and guiding decision-making. Emphasizing skills in data analysis and strategic planning, accountants will transition from traditional bookkeeping to strategic advisory roles.


Stories of successful IT integration often share common themes: a strong alignment between technology choices and business goals, an emphasis on staff training and leadership buy-in, and the careful management of change to minimize disruption. Using real-world examples as blueprints allows you to follow in the footsteps of larger companies while tailoring their approach to your unique needs giving you the best angle for your current capabilities. Also, remember that the right strategy doesn’t need to be perfect from the jump, but it does need to be workable. 


Technological Changes Are Opportunities, Not Problems

Accounting firms today face a daunting but essential journey to synchronize with rapid technological changes. However, seeing the changing technological landscape as a land of opportunity, not added problems, is critical. As the digital horizon swiftly expands, a calculated and strategic response will be the anchor that enables firms to endure and thrive in the numerical symphony of the information age. 

If you’re interested in learning more about how new IT technologies can improve your accounting firm, get in touch with our team here!