What does 2022 hold for accountants?
For many accountants, the immediate focus at the start of 2022 is tackling the tax return rush and busy season.
But with Covid still impacting many firms and Making Tax Digital (MTD) on the way, there’s plenty for accountants to be thinking about this year.
To save you some time, I’ve compiled the four main ways I expect accountancy to change in 2022.
MTD at the forefront
With the first phase of MTD coming in April – MTD for VAT and the pilot for ITSA – the dominating discussion for many practices is Making Tax Digital onboarding.
As the MTD ITSA pilot offers an enormous opportunity for accountants, it’s crucial that practices have a game plan in place to make the most of it.
To make the pilot a success, your accountancy practice needs to consider the two following points:
- Assess your various sub-sets of clients
- Identify clients by compliance stages
The Great Resignation
Accountancy has been facing a skill gap for some time, and now with the Great Resignation sweeping the nation, practices must undoubtedly prioritise recruiting and retaining talent in 2022.
A report from recruitment firm, Randstad UK, helps highlight the volatility of the current labour market, finding that 25% of people are planning to change roles in the next three to six months, which is up from the normal rate of 10%.
So, what can you do?
Training and development
First and foremost, I advise that you place added focus on training and development, nurturing your own in-house talent.
By investing in your people, you’ll not only help employees to be more effective and productive but also gain additional loyalty.
Become an attractive employer
To attract top talent, practices must create a modern culture with flexibility and hybrid working.
Importantly, to make the most out of a flexible working environment, you must offer teams the best tools available to help them thrive no matter their location.
An uptake in digital
With MTD and the pandemic acting as catalysts, I expect to see many firms furthering their digital transformation over 2022.
While there are fearmongers in the industry that claim digital is here to replace the accountant – that’s not the case.
Improved reporting, enhanced security, task automation and built-in workflows are all benefits you can achieve, subsequently resulting in you having more time to focus on value-added work.
A rise in advisory services
Over the last two years, accountants have demonstrated a fundamental skillset that many clients may not have been aware of: consultancy.
As government schemes and financial troubles arose, businesses turned to their accountants for advice.
Now that accountants have a foothold in providing advisory services, 2022 should be used to cement this as a staple offering.
To truly capitalise on the changing role of the accountant, practices should put in place plans to grow and market their advisory services to new and existing clients.
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