350: Right Networks Survey Reveals Bright Future For Technology & The Finance Industry
Right Networks is a cloud-based accounting and business solutions for CPA firms, accounting professionals and small to medium businesses who want to gain all the benefits of cloud-based applications without needing to replace what they use today. A new Right Networks survey of accounting professionals recently revealed how cloud technology is driving productivity, reshaping workflow to allow CPAs to deliver more strategic guidance and advisory services.
There is a reason to be optimistic about job growth and an upward trend in the near-term economy, according to those assigned with keeping a close watch on financial data. According to the survey, accounting professionals feel confident about the prospects for increased business growth and stability throughout their industry and the economy as a whole.
The cloud impact survey polled 364 CPA firms, accounting professionals, and small businesses about their confidence in the economy, their business prospects, and the impact of cloud technology on their business operations. The results of the
Cloud Technology Critical to Optimism for Future
- In the customer sampling, 75% of the respondents using cloud storage and application technology indicated they are “very confident” about the future of accounting and their respective role in the industry. Another 21% said they were “moderately confident” about their future.
- Of those responding, 40% identified as willing to embrace technology as “early adopters” and are committed to investing in start-of-the-art technology and applications, including the cloud, to deliver the highest level of service and value to clients.
- With an increased confidence in the overall economy and their businesses, 59% of the respondents indicated they plan to hire new employees with six months.
Technology Allows for More Time with Clients
- Over 63% of those responding were motivated to upgrade technology to either automate administrative tasks and increase productivity and efficiency or institute more flexible and responsive solutions for clients who increasingly expect an “always available” approach.
- The survey also indicates a significant trend among accounting professionals toward increased strategic and consultative roles for clients, with cloud-based accounting solutions allowing for more financial and business guidance to customers. 52% of the respondents in the survey believe such a trend will continue in the foreseeable future.
- Moreover, the cloud-based solutions are allowing accountants to work on the aspects of their industry they enjoy the most. Allowed to choose more than one answer, 67% of respondents indicated they like building relationships with clients, followed by advising on clients’ business strategy, e.g., forecasting, risk management (35%) and engaging new business and winning clients (33%).
Accessing Data Critical to Efficiency
- When asked to assess the top benefits of cloud-hosted solutions on a 1-to-10 scale, accounting firm managers ranked access to customer data “anywhere, anytime” as the leading benefit, averaging a 6.87 out of 10. That was followed closely by “anytime, anywhere” access to the solution-based software itself, which rated a 5.79. Forty-four respondents also rated highly (5.57) the ability to easily share data with applications and people who need it.
Cloud Users Feel More Prepared for Future Economic Conditions
- More than half of the respondents pointed to accounting software when asked to name the most important innovation in the industry.
- Asked to rate their confidence level in the economy compared to March 2017, 61% of the respondents identified as “moderately confident” while another 32 respondents were “very confident” in the economic outlook.
I invited Joel Hughes, COO at Right Networks, onto the show to understand how technology is being embraced by the finance industry and how FinTech is much more than just another buzzword.