Is Your Accounting Firm Prepared for 2020?
- By Liz Briggson
- February 15th, 2018
This week, we are pleased to feature CPA Site Solutions as our guest contributor to the Encoursa blog.
Heather Frechette-Crowley, Director of Product Marketing writes:
Launching into 2018, everyone seemed to be publishing predictions for the year ahead. With 2020 in our view, we decided to go the extra mile to look ahead to 2020 because predictions limited to the year ahead are so 2016.
In our new whitepaper, Seven Predictions and Recommendations for Accounting and Marketing by 2020, we examined current trends to predict what the future of accounting and marketing will look like by the next decade. Below is a brief synopsis, but make sure to download your full copy of the whitepaper here to stay ahead of the curve.
Trend 1: Machine Learning Will Increase Automation of Accounting Tasks
Technology is advancing in countless ways and has been making our lives easier for longer than we realize. As machine learning starts to become even more advanced – accountants will need to put in place the right processes, people, and strategies to increase efficiencies and remain competitive.
Trend 2: Lowered Trust of Facts Requires Building a Trustworthy Persona
Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like we’ll be saying goodbye to “fake news” or the associated decrease in trust of authority anytime soon. In fact, reliance on social media seems to have increased our general skepticism. While warranted in some situations, an overall rise in distrust of experts means businesses, accounting firms included, need to work harder to gain confidence from potential clients.
Enter your accounting firm’s online reputation, as this is where prospective clients are likely to form their first impression of you. You must encourage current clients to share positive feedback on review sites and social media channels as both play important roles in acquiring new clients.
Trend 3: Digital Content Consumption Will Be Constant and Led by Video
Think our dependence on digital content has reached the point of saturation? Alexa, weigh in. Given that we’re always connected, our consumption of content is ever increasing. To compete and gain valuable mindshare, your online presence must be dynamic.
A website alone is no longer enough; clients want more. Try creating a library of how-to videos and FAQs that address common concerns. Easy-to-read articles and posts are also great ways to share content. But remember, consistency is key – as even an engaged audience is fickle and will quickly go elsewhere if you stop meeting their needs.
Trend 4: Paid Content Will Overshadow Organic Content
While you’ll always need organic content (assets and articles that you don’t pay to promote) to build your brand and engage clients, it’s effectiveness on social media is TBD. Engaging content is key, and as Facebook plays with its algorithms, there may be a decline in how businesses are able to reach clients.
Trend 5: Most Clients Will Be Mobile-First, If Not Mobile-Only
The fact that we need laws to tell us not to read our Facebook feed while driving is a good indicator of the prevalence of mobile technology. While the number of people who browse the Internet from a mobile device has steadily increased in recent years, there is now a growing segment that solely or primarily access the Internet (i.e. your website) from their mobile device.
To provide the best user experience possible, have a website that takes a mobile-first approach with quick load times, thumb-friendly buttons, easy-to-read text, of course, format correctly across all devices.
Trend 6: A Digital Front Will Be Expected
From grocery shopping to ordering lattes, your clients are doing everything online – and per Trend 5 – it’s most likely from a mobile device.
Clients will soon expect to have the ability to book visits, confirm or cancel appointments, or complete forms online or via text. Regardless of how fast your website loads, if you fall below client expectations (which are higher than ever) your firm is sure to lag behind the competition. The answer is not to invest in more staff, but rather integrated systems that can manage interactions on your behalf to drive engagement, customer service, and convenience.
Trend 7: Increase in Millennials as Clients and In the Workforce
By 2020, millennials will comprise more than one of three adult Americans and 75 percent of the workforce. This means more of your clients will have the millennial mindset as well as those you are hiring.
To attract these types of clients and employees, your firm will need to adjust with additional flexibility, convenience, and have a strong brand image.
In conclusion, technology is greatly impacting how we do business in the future. And, if you don’t soon embrace where the industry is headed, you won’t be able to make up the ground. Click here to download your full copy of the whitepaper.
To learn more about staying ahead of the curve, call CPA Site Solutions at (800) 896-4500 or visit www.CPASiteSolutions.com to see how we meet you where you are today and help you get to where you want to be in the future.
About Heather Frechette-Crowley: Heather is Director of Product Marketing at CPA Site Solutions. She has over 18 years' experience in strategy and execution of B2B content marketing, marketing communications, product marketing, and relationship development. Heather built her marketing expertise in diverse organizations including Deloitte, Fidelty, and HIMSS Analytics among other leading organizations. She now applies this knowledge to help CPAs build their online presence and grow their firms. You can find Heather on LinkedIn.
About CPA Site Solutions: CPA Site Solutions delivers leading website design and online marketing solutions including search engine optimization (SEO), social media, and pay-per-click advertising for accountants.
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