Everything You Need to Know About Running an Accountancy Firm in 2024

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Everything You Need to Know About Running an Accountancy Firm in 2024

The accountancy landscape is evolving at breakneck speed. 

For context, in 2024, the market size of the global accounting services industry stands at $627.1 billion [1] and it’s projected to reach $804.27 billion by 2028, growing at a CAGR of 4.4% [2] – take that!

All that’s great, but is your accountancy firm going to be a part of this growth story? Is it equipped enough, is it smart enough? With over 2 decades in this industry, I can tell you that running an accountancy firm today is vastly different from what it was even a few years ago. 

The traditional model, which relied heavily on manual bookkeeping and periodic financial reporting, is rapidly becoming obsolete. 

Clients now demand real-time insights, strategic advice, and a more personalized approach. They aren’t just looking for someone to handle their taxes, they want a partner, a trusted advisor so to speak, who can help them navigate complex financial landscapes, mitigate risks, and seize growth opportunities.

8 Key Strategies for Running a Successful Accountancy Firm in 2024

With all these changes snowballing, there is a real need for a shift in strategy that goes into running an accountancy firm in 2024. So, here’s a practical guide to navigating these changes and building a thriving firm in 2024.

Know Your Market

    US vs. UK: Understanding Regional Dynamics

    US Market: 

    Statista reports that in the United States, accounting services generated a record revenue of nearly $144.2 billion USD in 2022, marking the highest ever in the industry’s history [3].

    And what has driven this growth? Automation. Automation is getting bigger and bigger in the US. In fact, almost 48% of accountants aim to invest in AI and automation to improve efficiency by streamlining processes and reducing errors [4].

    Basic bookkeeping tasks are increasingly handled by software, making these services less valuable. To stay relevant, focus on offering value-added services such as consulting, strategic planning, and financial advisory. Clients are looking for insights that help them grow, not just someone to manage their books.

    UK Market: 

    Brexit has thrown a curveball, creating new demands and uncertainties. We’ve already gone in-depth about the challenges and opportunities in the UK accounting space in our UK Accounting Industry Report, check it out you haven’t already!

    In the UK, issues like talent shortages, tech disruption and data protection are affecting both big and small firms. Many businesses also need help navigating the post-Brexit trade environment, dealing with new regulations, and understanding tax implications. Specializing in these areas can set your firm apart and make you indispensable to clients grappling with these changes.

    Target Your Niche: Specialize to Stand Out

      Don’t be a jack-of-all-trades. Identify a specific industry or client type where you can develop deep expertise. Whether it’s healthcare, tech startups, retail, or real estate, focusing on a niche helps you build a reputation as the go-to expert.

      For instance, the Enterprise Software market is expected to achieve a revenue of US$292.00 billion by 2024 [5]. This presents a huge opportunity for accounting firms specializing in tech startups, software development, and IT consulting. Ultimately, having a specialization not only builds trust but also allows you to draw greater yields for your tailored expertise.

      Embrace Technology

        Cloud Accounting is King: The Future is in the Cloud

        The global accounting software market is expected to reach $38.08 billion by 2030, driven by a notable transition to cloud-based solutions [6].

        Ditch the paper trails and invest in cloud-based accounting software like Xero, QuickBooks, or Sage. These tools streamline workflows, improve collaboration, and provide real-time access to data from anywhere. This not only enhances efficiency but also improves transparency and accessibility for your clients, making your services more attractive.

        AI is Here to Help: Automate and Elevate

        According to Accounting Today’s 2024 The Year Ahead in Number, 29% of small accountancy firms have reported keeping up with tech as the biggest issue they face [7].

        What do I have to say? Well, don’t fear the robots! Artificial intelligence can automate repetitive tasks like data entry, reconciliation, and fraud detection. This frees up your team to focus on higher-level analysis, strategic planning, and client communication. AI tools can also provide predictive analytics, helping you offer more proactive advice to your clients.

        The Offshoring Debate

          Cost vs. Quality: Striking the Right Balance

          Offshoring can offer significant cost benefits by leveraging skilled professionals in countries like India – which topped the Global Services Location Index (GSLI) score in Kearny’s 2021 rankings [8] and is also the home to our offshoring team!

          However, it’s crucial to ensure that quality and data security are not compromised. If you choose to offshore, establish robust communication channels and prioritize data protection. Regular training and strict compliance with data security protocols are essential to maintain high service standards.

          Rethink Your Marketing

            Ditch the Brochures: Going Digital

            Today’s clients live online, so your marketing strategy should too. If you’re still not convinced about why being discovered online should be a priority for your accountancy firm, take Gartner which reports that 71% of B2B decision-makers engage in online research about a company before making a yay nor nay [9]. 

            Build a user-friendly, professional website that showcases your services and expertise. Utilize social media platforms, particularly LinkedIn, to connect with potential clients and establish yourself as a thought leader. Share valuable content, engage with your audience, and maintain an active online presence to attract and retain clients.

            Pricing for Profit

              Value-Based Billing: More Than Just Hours

              If you haven’t already heard about it, there’s a major shift across industries towards outcome-oriented pricing – some name that is!

              For accounting firms, the imperative here is to move away from the traditional hourly billing model, which can be time-consuming and inefficient. Instead, package your services into clear, tiered offerings that address specific client needs. Value-based billing ensures you’re compensated for the value you deliver, not just the hours you work. This approach also builds trust, as clients can see exactly what they’re paying for and the benefits they’re receiving.

              Boost Your Margins

                Efficiency is Key: Streamline and Delegate

                When it comes to achieving cost efficiency, accounting software and tools can guarantee your margins improve

                Fortunately, we live an era where we’ve got a desktop tool or app for everything! To that end, the accounting software market was valued at USD 15.07 billion in 2022 and is projected to grow to USD 30.18 billion by 2031, with a CAGR of 8.02% from 2024 to 2031 [10].

                Streamline your operations with technology and smart delegation. Use project management tools, automate where possible, and ensure your team is working efficiently. Every minute saved is a minute you can reinvest in the firm’s growth and profitability. Regularly review your processes to identify and eliminate inefficiencies.

                Expanding Your Service Palette

                  Go Beyond Bookkeeping: Diversify Your Offerings

                  This shouldn’t be surprising, but research has revealed that 56% of accounting and bookkeeping companies reported increased profits by expanding the number of services they offer, such as advisory and consulting [11].

                  The key here is to identify in-demand services that go beyond traditional bookkeeping. Consider offering cybersecurity consulting, blockchain expertise, or sustainability reporting. These areas are growing in importance and can provide significant value to your clients. By expanding your service offerings, you position your firm as a comprehensive solution for your clients’ needs, making you indispensable to their success.

                  Key Takeaways 

                  • Focus on Client Communication

                  Clear and consistent communication with your clients builds trust and fosters long-term relationships. Keep clients informed, be responsive to their needs, and ensure they understand the value you’re providing. Regular check-ins and updates can help maintain a strong relationship and demonstrate your commitment to their success.

                  • Prioritize Continuous Learning

                  Continuous learning is essential in the fast-evolving accountancy landscape. Attend industry events, take relevant courses, and stay updated on the latest trends and regulations. This proactive approach ensures you’re always ready to meet new challenges and provide the best advice to your clients.

                  • Invest in Your Team

                  Your team is your greatest asset. Foster a positive work environment, invest in their professional development, and empower them to deliver exceptional client service. A motivated, skilled team can be the difference between a good firm and a great one. Offer training opportunities, encourage collaboration, and recognize their achievements to build a strong, dedicated workforce.

                  By adopting these practical strategies, you can build a resilient and thriving accountancy firm in 2024 and beyond. With these foundations, you’ll be well-equipped to navigate the evolving accountancy landscape

                  Reviewed by:

                  Arun Mehra

                  Arun Mehra

                  Samera CEO

                  Arun, CEO of Samera, is an experienced accountant and dental practice owner. He specialises in accountancy, financial directorship, squat practices and practice management.

                  Bibliography

                  1. https://www.ibisworld.com/global/market-research-reports/global-accounting-services-industry/
                  2. https://www.thebusinessresearchcompany.com/report/accounting-services-global-market-report 
                  3. https://www.statista.com/statistics/293673/revenue-of-accounting-services-in-the-us/ 
                  4. https://www.purdueglobal.edu/blog/business/5-accounting-trends/
                  5. https://www.statista.com/outlook/tmo/software/enterprise-software/worldwide 
                  6. https://www.globenewswire.com/en/news-release/2022/10/13/2533849/0/en/Accounting-Software-Market-is-Reach-USD-38-08-Billion-at-an-8-14-CAGR-by-2030-Report-by-Market-Research-Future-MRFR.html 
                  7. https://www.accountingtoday.com/list/accounting-in-2024-the-year-ahead-in-numbers 
                  8. https://www.kearney.com/service/digital-analytics/gsli/2021-full-report 
                  9. https://www.gartner.com/en/newsroom/press-releases/2022-06-22-gartner-sales-survey-finbds-b2b-buyers-prefer-ordering-paying-through–digital-commerce 
                  10. https://www.skyquestt.com/report/accounting-software-market 
                  11. https://www.docuclipper.com/blog/accounting-and-bookkeeping-statistics/ 

                  Rajat Kumar

                  Rajat is a finance and marketing professional with years of proven experience working in finance and investment KPOs. As Samera's in-house content guy, Rajat crafts compelling narratives and insightful content for accounting leaders and firms. With a keen eye for detail and a passion for effective communication, Rajat brings a unique blend of financial expertise and writing prowess to every piece.

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