We’ve all heard the industry is on the move and there is fear in the air of an accounting automation apocalypse coming for your job. Yeah, not any time soon. There is however a range of more immediate changes  that likely will affect you.

The rise of more and more intelligent software is undoubtedly having an affect on the advisor industry and will transform the way the industry works, one step at a time. So which realistic accounting industry trends do you need to be aware of?

1) Relationships rise in importance

With the rise in technological proficiency in our software and business systems, there has been an equal shift in the importance of people in the accounting and bookkeeping industry.

The advisor will now become a much more important figure as automation eats up smaller administration style tasks.  Once you would be dealing with a lot more manual paperwork, data entry, or picking up documents. Now with cloud software feeding data directly, there is more scope for the advisor relationship.

The role will become more ‘coach’ like by advising on how to interpret financials, advice on future business decisions, or ways to reduce costs.

With less buy work, you will also have scope to take on more clients to keep cashflow high.

This trend will result in a less transactional relationship and into a more personal one, where the value of your advice is the driver of revenue.

As this trend begins to manifest, many business advisors will start working with their clients to share the best way to approach business decisions or to discuss changes occurring in their businesses and the industry at large.

2) Outsourcing and the cloud

Another important shift that needs to be discussed is that of the opportunities and changes that the cloud has and will continue to impart on the accounting sector.

The rise of cloud accounting apps in the hands of small business will continue to shape the landscape.

While direct data links will have the effect of reducing paperwork and manual processes, it may also reduce your bottom line if you were used to charging for such activity.

The golden lining is that you can now court business from wide and far. While businesses outsourcing their accounting to advisors like yourself is nothing new, the scope and breadth is now incredibly wide.

You can now quite easily be managing businesses halfway across the world. There is no longer such a strong need for physical contact or geographical closeness. Take advantage of this to shrewdly grow your business.

3) The new generation emerges

Key to weathering the changes the accounting industry will incrementally undergo is understanding the new generation of business owners and fellow accountants.

Unlike the majority of your clients over your early years, the new generation grew up with technology. Paperwork was never an option and manual processes may as well not exist. With digital natives who have formed innate familiarity with streaming content, apps for everything, mobile banking and online services, you will have no choice but to get on the level.

This generational evolution will ensure the primacy of cloud technology and truly cement this future, so it would be extremely advantageous to the savvy advisor to expect this shift and anticipate it.

At the moment roughly 1/3 of workers are ‘millenials’ and have now surpassed boomers, so the early bird will get the worm.