Posted on: May 9, 2019 by Huntersure LLC.
Tax season is in full force and accountants all over are taking care of returns for clients and companies, making sure they get everything checked off to avoid discrepancies. But outside of the annual tax duties that accountants face there are still a number of responsibilities they carry throughout the rest of the year.
The accounting profession faces new challenges heading into the rest of 2019, especially with the influence of things like artificial intelligence and cybersecurity threats. Plus, tried and true challenges, such as long hours and evolving laws and regulations still play a role in what accountants need to be looking out for on a daily basis. Regardless of what lays ahead, being prepared for anything and on the up-and-up of an issue is a great way to alleviate stress and liabilities.
Here are some of the major challenges facing the accounting profession and accounting firms today.
New tax laws and regulations can pop up on a regular, expected basis or at random at times. Regardless of when they appear, accountants need to be ready for changes to the laws they’ve been operating under in their profession. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is one that is bringing pause to what accounting firms are doing every day and will affect everything from meals and entertainment expenses to depreciation.
The good thing about the new law is that accounting and tax software will take care of all the new rates. Knowing about certain advantages can help small-business accounting firms and professionals with strategy and planning.
Cybersecurity issues are becoming more and more threatening and sophisticated. As companies of all stripes up their cybersecurity protection, it really is just a daily battle to stave off threats to data and finances. And seeing that accountants handle sensitive information related to personal and commercial finances, there should be a high emphasis on protecting more seriously.
Accountants can be held liable for negligence and not protecting information as well as they are expected to. Having accountants professional liability insurance in place will protect accounting firms and their counselors in the event of a claim related to data breaches and other cybersecurity threats that can sneak up at any time.
Accounting duties are being heavily influenced by technology, so much so that artificial intelligence is changing the way firms operate. AI is becoming more and more capable of taking care of the complex accounting duties that professionals in the field have been doing for decades. While it does streamline the process and helps save time and money, the fear is that it will put some accounting firms out of business, especially smaller operations.
Automation and AI are handling the repetitive duties and rules-based accounting tasks, opening the door for professionals in the field to move on to more consultant-related positions. But this also presents the need to brush up on things like analysis and forecasting, some things that accountants of tomorrow may not be educated in, especially with the takeover of automation.
Accountants can get a leg up today by taking online courses or attending seminars where educational opportunities are handed out. The best way to be more valuable and stay that way is to prepare yourself for new roles and challenges through hands-on learning events.
At Huntersure, we specialize in providing quality professional liability solutions to accounting professionals. Our Accountant Liability Insurance program provides coverage for accountants, auditors, bookkeepers, and tax preparers, so no matter where your clients lie in the industry they can have the coverage they need to protect themselves and their assets. To learn more about our operation and our Professional Liability Insurance solutions, contact us today at (855) 585-6255.