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Latest trends to be aware of in the accounting industry

As we head quickly towards the end of the financial year, it is always interesting to gaze back at the past year to review the trends and changes in the industry.

2016/2017 saw a wide range of new changes for the accounting industry as a whole, in particular, a massive increase in cloud-based accounting software users with QuickBooks Online seeing an increase of 41% for subscribers and Xero experiencing growth of 51% online. 

Other accounting trends which are evolving that your business should be aware of are outlined below:

Cloud computing for client’s books

Keeping your client’s information in the cloud allows you to easily share data and keep up to date with all the latest information. Moving from paper-based reporting allows for a more fluid conversation with your clients and ensures you are allowing for increased productivity and convenience for accounting files. 

SMEs are using cloud-based accounting programs

These days most SME’s are using programs such as QuickBooks or Xero for their day to day accounting and bookkeeping due to the convenience, affordability and user-friendly options for managing a business. It’s important that accountants are experts in these programs and can integrate with cloud-based accounting programs. 

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Top tips to combat mental fatigue

Are you struggling under a mountain of work?

If you find you’re always tired and feel mentally drained at work, there are a few simple ways to combat mental fatigue.

Fuel up with the right food 
Rather than driving your body on coffee, focus on fuelling your system with water to keep hydrated as well as small and regular meals to ensure you are constantly boosting your diet with foods rich in slow-release vitamins and minerals that work to power your brain and keep you healthy. Ditch the sugar and caffeine for foods such as nuts, seeds, legumes, whole grains and leafy greens.

Stand up at work
Believe it or not but standing on the job will boost attention and help your brain function. If you are struggling to hit your mental capacity, mix it up a little and either stand while you do work or get a few minutes of walking into your day to flush your system and increase your mental energy.

Consider a nap or a break during the day
Often a quick nap of only 20 minutes or at least a break can completely recharge your system and work to provide the refresh your brain needs to be productive and restore mental energy. Take a quick nap in the conference room or speak with your boss about setting up a break room so you can improve your performance and take some time out to recharge.

Head home on time
While you might think long hours in the office are productive, it can have the opposite effect. Focus on putting in place boundaries so you leave your office on time so you can decrease your stress levels and improve your sleep patterns.

The key to combating metal fatigue is to put in place strict boundaries that encourage your body to recharge and work your best. 

Does the accounting industry have a fear of digital technology? 

When it comes to business, technology is by far one of the biggest changes over the past few decades and with many businesses moving to the cloud, there appears to be a reluctance for the accounting industry to follow their advice to clients and do the same.

With over 9,500 accounting firms in Australia, only a small percentage have migrated their systems to the cloud and their reluctance to move could be a threat to their capabilities in the long term.

A government report titled 'Technology and Australia’s Future' published in September 2015 has found there is trepidation of digital technology in the accounting industry.

Accounting firms quite commonly need to store thousands of emails on servers, and the reluctance to move to the cloud can mean that safe storage equates to a relatively high expense for traditional server space.

On top of this, the accounting industry’s reluctance to embrace the powers of Google’s G Suite and Microsoft 365 is proving to create some serious issues regarding inefficiencies.

The major concern is security and protecting data, yet with Google’s G Suite and Microsoft’s Office 365 capabilities businesses need not have any concern with some of the world’s latest and sophisticated technology being used to power the platforms.

 A key reason that has been found for the slow take-up of digital technology is the delay or reluctance for technology adoption in accounting firms. This could be either the firm simply doesn’t know about digital technology, or there is an ignorance to take up technology within the firm due to the fact they aren’t fostering close relationships with IT experts.

Added to the fact that management is largely dominated by baby boomers and practitioners over the age of 50, the threat of late adoption of digital technology is a serious issue within the industry as a whole.

With unprecedented growth in digital technology, the accounting industry should be looking to embrace the following:

-    Update exchange servers to cloud-based technology
-    Embrace applications
-    Explore ancillary products
-    Explore practice management software
-    Set up automation 

For more information on the report visit here
To read original article click here 

Accountants to up their game on cyber threats

With the threat of cyber attack on the increase, accountants and auditors should be aware of the need to manage cyber risks as part of their daily business operations. 

With cyber attacks an issue of national security, Australian businesses should be aware that the risk is increasing and business should be taking steps to ensure they adapt and put in place systems to cope with cyber crime.

Organisations should be purchasing security products that protect the business environment and provide the sophisticated protection required to combat cyber attacks.

Accounting firms should consider the following three things to protect their business from cyber attacks:

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