Alexis S. Becker
Dealing with Disruption is the New Business Standard — Are You Keeping Up or Lagging Behind?
If the last eighteen months have taught us anything, it’s that every business is vulnerable to disruptions — generation changes, talent shortages, industry shifts, regulatory modifications, inflationary impact, weather delays, and, yes, even global pandemics. The level of damage these types of interruptions cause can often be avoided with better tools and solid processes in place to ensure business continuity as best as possible.
The pandemic accelerated the desire and timeline for many Baby Boomers to retire. Pre-pandemic, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) had already reported that the country will experience a decline of almost 4% in bookkeepers and accounting clerks by 2028. When you consider that more than 25% of the workforce in accounting is 55 or older (BLS), the number of retirees has undoubtedly increased.
Small to mid-size businesses are reshaping, realigning, and refocusing their organizations to accommodate the change. Many business leaders are wondering whether they need to replace the position or invest the financial savings into technology. There are better financial and operational efficiencies when people and technology are used in tandem.
The internal accounting department of the very near future looks very different. As staff phase out, the majority of bookkeeping and internal accounting transactional tasks will be automated. This change will enable prudent companies to relocate financial expertise to areas of the business where these professionals can be better utilized and add more value. In one study, 91% of accountants said that accounting technology increased their productivity (Sage, 2020).
The implication of adapting technology infers the elimination of people when, in fact, it automates menial, repetitive, and transactional tasks enabling financial professionals to delve deeper into data, analyzing, benchmarking, and scaling to give better direction for long-term productivity and profitability. Certainly, a more effective use of their time.
Automation in accounting will be a key factor for organizations in this next decade as will adoption of the cloud. Gartner predicts that by 2024, 70% of all new midsize core financial management application projects will be cloud implementations. Research conducted by Accenture confirms that while companies were making a deliberate, albeit slower, move to the cloud over the last decade, the pandemic sped things up.
As intimidating as they might be, cloud-based solutions are necessary for businesses where stagnant growth is not an option. Cloud-based accounting tools have better reliability, timeliness, and security. The cloud enables teams, including outside accountants, to have access to the same timely information, safely stored in the same location.
In 2022, remote workers will account for 53% of the U.S. workforce (Gartner). Data-driven solutions are customized and scalable for individual company needs. And with these investments in infrastructure and technology, back-office headcount doesn’t have to grow at the same pace as revenue.
Automation and Agility
Accounting firms have also been impacted by the pandemic. Many were shifting to more advisory-based services to better guide clients in areas like talent management, digital transformation, risk assessment, dispute resolution, cybersecurity, or, in our case, MAXIS.
MAXIS™ is Freed Maxick’s proprietary service for small to mid-size companies that have an immediate need to evolve to compete. This service automates your back office bookkeeping and accounting, tailoring data to deliver more accurate, detailed financial information with which to drive timely business decisions. While we have always promoted partnerships with our clients, MAXIS gives us a more proactive, collaborative approach to add even more value.
With this service, we become much more of an invested partner in the processes and outcomes — both financial and operational. Not only do we introduce clients to the most appropriate technology for them, we customize reports that are most beneficial to their industry, geography, and individual business.
Data is derived from these automated systems help to create better processes, improve efficiencies, and strengthen the bottom line. Analytics provide strategic insights to tailor solutions that confirm strategy, identify successes and weaknesses, and affirm opportunities for the best efficiency and profitability.
And, business leaders are still in charge of overall strategy and direction. The analysis of the most timely data provides the best options for them to make a more timely and better-informed decision.
The FM Way
Freed Maxick conducts frequent quantitative research to ensure our level of client satisfaction exceeds expectation. Repeatedly, clients tell us that our quality of work, delivery of service, and a “true partner” collaboration are what set us apart from the competition
Leveraging our partnerships, we aim to elevate the client experience. We bring expertise and insights that make us ideal business partners to deliver the highest levels of strategic leadership, consistent results, and extraordinary business value.
And, now, with MAXIS, we provide more certainty that you can emerge stronger, better organized, and more successful. We do what we do best, so you can do what you do best. The hardest part? Getting started.
A partnership with MAXIS provides access to the technical tax, accounting, and advisory services of Freed Maxick, as needed, instead of maintaining expensive fill-time resources internally. With a streamlined approach to reporting, you can confidently move forward and focus on growing your organization.