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Five Trends Shaping the Accounting Industry

Posted on Tue, Aug 21, 2012

Today's accounting firms are full of dynamic and creative professionals who recognize and capitalize on continually emerging trends in the financial world.

Turning Trends Into Profits

cheeringAccounting is getting a new face as firms identify and take advantage of emerging trends. Among four specialty areas helping to reshape the industry:

1. Forensic Accounting -- Forensic accounting is not new. But tighter scrutiny of business practices that followed  Sarbanes Oxley and high-profile financial scandals have put the specialty on the map. Forensic accountants are helping clients set up fraud prevention programs, provide litigation support, and delve behind the numbers to detect sophisticated crimes including embezzlement, securities fraud, bribery and money laundering. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that as the success rate of investigations conducted by forensic accountants continues to grow, so will the demand for their services.

2. Estate Planning / Elder Care -- Today, about 35 million Americans are 65 and older, according to the Census Bureau, but by 2030, there will be 72 million people in this category. The aging population is generating a growing need for competent guidance in retirement planning, estate planning and wealth preservation. Many accounting firms are also setting up elder care departments devoted to helping older clients and their families with issues such as long-term care, Medicare, Medicaid and financial strategies for staying in a personal residence.

3. International Business -- We live in a global economy with a burgeoning need for professionals who are not only fluent in languages but also in international accounting standards, tax treaties, cross border financing and regulatory requirements.

Even smaller firms are recognizing the foreign business and global trade opportunities available.

4. Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) -- SOX legislation has profoundly affected the landscape of the accounting industry. Among other things, the legislation resulted in the creation of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board and prohibited audit firms from providing certain expert consulting services to their clients. Instead, clients must now engage separate firms for different functions. Although these changes are just the tip of the iceberg, it's been enough for many CPA firms to find themselves deluged with work and understaffed.

These are just four trends that are changing the accounting industry. The result is new challenges, additional career paths, broader perspectives -- and in some cases, international travel.

Accountants may not set the trends, but they know how to translate opportunity into profit and compliance for their clients. For more information on how EHTC can help your company, please click here or call (616) 575-3482.


Tags: Accounting, Corporate Income Tax, Forensic Accounting, Estate Planning, Michigan, Financial Management, Grand Rapids, business consulting, Articles