Explore key accounting industry trends to watch in 2024, including the growing role of storytelling, adoption of AI automation tools, hybrid remote work models, and evolving practice management software in the accounting industry.

Bonus: LinkedIn Storytelling Secrets: How to create viral posts from someone who has!

This episode is kindly sponsored by

Employment Hero: The All in One HR, Payroll & Benefits Platform  https://employmenthero.com/

Translucent The Multi-Entity Accounting solution  https://www.translucent.io/ 

Today, I’m speaking with Tyler Caskey, Partner at The Bean Counters. In this podcast, we talk about…

  • Tyler Caskeys background 
    • Tyler Caskey, chartered accountant and partner at Bean Counters in Sydney, discusses his team’s work in consulting for midsize businesses, including small system migrations and large-scale global deployments, and helping accounting firms modernise their tech stack.
  • Accounting industry trends in 2024 
  • Crafting accounting stories for clients, marketing and career coaching.
    • Storytelling is a trend in 2024, focusing on using narratives to communicate complex financial information that resonates with people.
  • AI, Automation & ChatGPT in accounting. 
    • Tyler finds Chat GPT helpful for simplifying complex tax law and DAX (Data Analysis Expressions) formulas in Power BI.
    • I don’t think ChatGPT is going to take our jobs. I think Ai will give us more time to offer a great client experience and a great human experience.
    • Tyler highlights the evolution of accounting efficiency, from manually coding bank statements to automating transactions with tools like Weel and AirWallex.
    • Tyler praises Weel for streamlining expense management, allowing team members to simply click “okay” on approved transactions without manually entering them.

    • All my team have a Weel card, and whenever they buy something, they buy it on the Weel card, and it comes out the next day. I’m just clicking okay, okay, okay, because I know I’ve already set the rules in Weel for them to do it, and it’s within budget because they’ve got a budget. And that compared to 2012 when I would lose a full day or two every single month sorting out my team’s 50 Amex cards, where I reckon I could do that in under two hours now. And I know that’s not typically AI, but the automations, it’s second to none
    • The automations are second to none, like how payroll connections push into the accounting system. Employment Hero, for example, doesn’t just push a journal; it pushes bills, streamlining the process so you don’t end up with a wages payable amount on your balance sheet. Instead, you have an accounts payable, which you match against a bank payment. These small automation tasks really add up. If you have many such automations working together, you just start absolutely humming as a finance team.
    • Automations automate tasks, freeing up time for more value-added work (e.g., analysing data, identifying trends) and implementing small automations can lead to significant time savings, even if it’s just a few minutes a day (e.g., 10% of a day)
  • Remote work trends and virtual teams in the accounting industry. 
    • Accounting firms are pushing for more in-office work for junior staff due to efficiency reasons, while partners prefer remote work for management purposes.
    • There’s a trend of businesses moving away from traditional office spaces and embracing remote work, with some companies fully remote and others adopting hybrid models.
    • New businesses are emerging with fully remote opportunities, offering cost savings and attracting talent from diverse locations.
  • Pay raises, career progression, and work-from-home impact. 
    • The impact of remote work on career progression, salary negotiations and pay rises is explored.
    • Work-life balance and the impact of remote work.
    • Some employees feel less connected to their colleagues and workplace.
  • The role of accountants in strategic business planning and advisory
    • A shift from compliance-focused to advisory-focused work.
    • The merger of bookkeeping, accounting, tax, and advisory services, with a focus on real-time data and monthly meetings to help clients understand their financial performance.
    • Tyler highlights the importance of accounting firms adapting to new technologies and changing their approach to compliance work to remain competitive.
    • Accounting firms should prioritise developing specialists in tech and strategic decision-making rather than trying to handle all aspects of accounting work themselves.
  • Trends in practice management software for accounting firms. 
    • The practice management space for accounting firms is evolving, with significant advancements in task and document management. Since using Xero Practice Manager in 2018, I’ve seen a shift from traditional systems to more integrated solutions. The FYI team’s connection to Xero for timesheets and billing marked a key development, offering efficiency for multi-category practices. Innovations like XBert’s quality checks combined with task management and the unique approaches of Account-Kit and Karbon, which focuses on thread management, highlight the dynamic changes in the industry.
    • There’s potential for a standout tool to emerge, as all aim to improve accounting firm operations. The rapid tech progression, exemplified by Dashboard Insights, offers detailed data visualisation, leveraging Power BI’s power without the complexity. This period of technological growth presents opportunities for enhanced efficiency and innovation in practice management, signalling a promising direction for the industry.

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