If 2020 was a lesson in anything, it was to expect the unexpected. Who could have predicted a year of such unprecedented worldwide disruption? So, here are four predictions from the experts about what 2021 will look like in the world of accounting.
1. Increased focus on company culture, especially in dispersed teams
Without a doubt, COVID-19 has accelerated the work-from-home trend. With more and more companies no longer renewing their city head office leases and swapping major city life for regional hubs with staff working remotely, team culture and cohesion has never been more important.
A risk of not strengthening company culture (among other things) is the possibility of your business having little choice other than to be acquired by a stronger firm.
The traditional office has all but vanished, so make sure you’re prepared with the right tools to continue operating—and don’t forget your company culture.
2. Preparing for the worst is the new normal
In 2020, many businesses weren’t prepared for the disruptions they faced. As an accountant, if you’re not setting your clients up for the same (or even worse!) situation as 2020, then you’re missing something critical.
“For accountants to spend time developing best case, worst case and working case full financial scenarios for their clients is the most important in preparing for 2021.”Kathy Gregory, Director, Strategic Development and Engagement, LivePlan
With that reminder, Kathy expects accounting firms in 2021 to be actively planning for the worst—for their clients and their own businesses.
3. Client interaction to join the cloud
Cloud-based systems have undoubtedly enabled accounting firms to continue operating remotely. For the most part, teams have been able to successfully manage their workflows and collaborate internally. Nows the time to engage more deeply with clients using tools like Zoom and Calendly.
4. People will (finally) see the true value of accountants
2020 was a tumultuous year, and for accountants, it was likely one of the busiest on record. Firms worked around the clock to make sure their clients’ businesses could continue to operate as well as possible, that they could pay their staff and apply for the relevant subsidies. The next 12 months will be just as busy as the last, so expect recognition of your firm’s hard work as you navigate continued uncertainty and disruption.
Prepare, prepare, prepare
So, do these industry expert predictions resonate with you? Or do you have your own bold expectations for the next 12 months? Perhaps a combination of both?
Nevertheless, use this opportunity to go into 2021 with a sneak peek into what the experts are saying—and put your firm in a better, more prepared position to ride the next wave of uncertainty.