From traditional to digital: Tech tips for seasoned accountants

Change can be uncomfortable, which is why we have some tech tips for accounting firms. Discover ways to embrace today’s digital world.

minute read

Last Updated March 18, 2024

An image of an older man standing at an office window, looking over the cityscape.


Let me set the scene for you.

It’s the early 80s. You’re working on a client’s books—a manual process, requiring a paper ledger, a pencil (or a pen if you’re super-confident) and a calculator.

As time goes on, you make the move to a personal computer (PC) and adopt the use of programs like Lotus 1-2-3 and WordPerfect. Eventually, you drop Lotus 1-2-3 for Microsoft Excel and WordPerfect for Microsoft Word. You adopt the internet (I think we can all be thankful dialup is no longer a thing) and create the ultimate tech stack for the era.

And today, you’re probably running your accounting firm in the cloud or considering making a move there.

Sound familiar? If you’ve been in the accounting profession for long enough to remember this evolution, you may feel more reluctant than your newer team members to adopt new applications. That’s OK—and it’s why we’re sharing three tech tips for accounting firms, to help you embrace technology as you continue to advance through your career.

Tip No. 1: Start with a growth mindset

One of the most important tech tips we can give accounting firms is to embrace a growth mindset—and that holds for accountants, too. So, first, look back at how far you’ve come, taking on and learning a multitude of new technologies. It’s not only helped you; it’s also helped your firm and your clients.

Learning new technologies is truly an investment in your firm’s success. But if you’re hesitant to embrace new technology, it can impact your bottom line—even if you’re an employee and not the owner of the firm. Why? Because today’s clients want to work with firms who keep up with their technological skills.

Rest assured, though, it’s not up to you specifically to do this all yourself. You can train the right people on your staff to handle the adoption of new technology. And bonus: This will also help you attract new talent.

Tip No. 2: Get into the cloud

A graphic that reads: The intelligent cloud frees up your time so you can focus on what's important—your clients.

Imagine having to make sure your systems are backed up daily. Or being the one who has to ensure that all your applications have their current updates and security patches. Also, consider how inconvenient it would be to have software updates scheduled during the busiest time of year. Or to have to either manage your own IT or hire a local provider to handle it…when they have time.

None of this has to be your reality. And that’s why our next tech tip for accounting firms is to make the move to the intelligent cloud.

Instead of managing hundreds of passwords, you use a one-click login to access all the applications you need in one place—anytime, anywhere. An expert team manages your enterprise-class security 24/7; software updates are handled for you (and not during busy times); and your data is backed up daily. This frees up your time to learn and get comfortable with new apps. Most importantly, it gives you the time to focus on your clients.

Tip No. 3: Embrace automation and AI

An image that lists the benefits of AI and automation tools for accounting firms.

If you’re an avid reader of this blog, you know the great impact of automation and artificial intelligence (AI) on firms. Sure, these tools might make you feel a little uneasy, but they have multiple benefits. That’s why our third tech tip for accounting firms is to embrace AI and automation.

You can start with Rightworks Spark. It’s AI that’s purpose-built for accountants—allowing users to conduct research and create written communications. And unlike other AI platforms, Spark offers security and privacy with the information you provide in your prompts.

We understand the concerns around AI and automation, especially the fear that they’ll replace humans. But worry not; these tools will enhance the roles of your people—not eliminate them. Your clients will be—or already are—using automation tools, and they’ll want you to do the same. If you’re on the fence about automation, here are four benefits:

  1. Eliminates data entry.
  2. Simplifies expense management.
  3. Boosts CAAS performance.
  4. Streamlines document management.

The bottom line: Automation and AI save your firm time and money.

Apply these tech tips to your accounting firm

When looking back over the last several years, making changes to adopt new technology wasn’t easy. But given the choice today, we’d probably never return to the way it was. (Be honest: Do you really want to see a paper ledger ever again unless it’s framed and hanging on the wall?)

By maintaining a growth mindset, getting into the cloud, and embracing automation and AI, you’re setting yourself—and your firm or employer—up for success, no matter where you are in your career.

Simplify the way you work with Rightworks OneSpace Firm. Learn more.

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