Last week, Intuit’s® ProConnect™ leadership team met with an exceptional group of accountants who make up our ProConnect Tax Customer Council. We work very closely with this unique group of forward-thinking professionals to help shape the industry for the greater good for professionals and their clients.
We imagined the future state for firms in the next five, 10 and 15+ years … going deep on the emerging trends and technology that are already shaping our future, as well as the changes and opportunities we will need to embrace going forward. Overwhelmingly, the group agreed that the role of the tax and accounting professional is evolving – moving from compliance to advisory services to help their clients make better decisions.
It was an enlightening discussion that led us to some mindsets, opportunities and focus areas for accountants in the future. Here are the findings:
Coaches and Specialists: As access to data becomes universally available and automatically converted to insights for real-time distribution, the role of the professional will change. Accountants will be in the center of their clients’ lives as either financial coaches across a broad spectrum of needs or as the specialized advisor addressing more complex planning needs. Accountants will provide highly personalized and anticipatory guidance that their consumer and small business clients will depend on as a lifeline to financial well-being.
Peer Networks: As the role of the professional changes, the relationship with peers in tax and accounting, and in parallel services, will change. As accountants deliver more services to advise their clients, they will depend on each other to deliver specialized services. Networks of permission-based relationships will evolve, with accountants at the center of these engagements delivering differentiated value to their clients.
The Place: Finally, we envisioned how technology will enable the future firm in a robust world of social, mobile, analytics and cloud services. This is a world where there is no data entry; everything works together in one place in a precisely personalized manner … firm by firm … professional by professional … anywhere and everywhere. This is a future where augmented reality, aided by sensory input such as sound, video, graphics or even GPS data, is a reality. Hands-free engagement is the norm, and firms and their clients will have highly responsive beautiful experiences.
Fortunately for accountants, this future is closer than you think. The trends we are seeing are providing new opportunities to deliver value your clients need. Freeing you from the manual processes of today so you can become financial coaches to help your clients succeed in ways they did not think was possible is at the forefront of our vision. As we move into this new era for accountants, our team at Intuit ProConnect, along with our visionary council, are working on your behalf to help shape these opportunities.