Technology has changed the way accounting firms operate business; a recent survey by the AICPA shows how firms of all sizes are being transformed. Of the 2,937 accounting firms surveyed, 76 percent of most firms use time and billing software. This was the largest category for all respondents. Time and billing software allows accountants to track the amount of time they are taking on a job.
These systems have been used for many years with great success. Other firms have chosen to keep track of their time and billing manually, usually by spreadsheets. This shows how much opportunity there still is in the industry. The accounting major with an interest in computers will find many openings in this field. “Value billing” is a new trend in time and billing systems, and these new software packages can track the profitability of the work performed. These new systems require time and money to implement, which many firms are not willing to spend just yet.
The next biggest category was the usage of multiple monitors, with 71 percent of the respondents saying that more than one monitor is used on a desk to view files. Multiple monitors increase productivity, especially in viewing spreadsheets, with many users fortunate enough to have 22-inch monitors.
Sixty six percent of the firms said they have an active website, and 62 percent allow remote network access. Remote network access allows employees to work from home and access files while not in the office. This flexibility is important to people who cannot stay in the office or need to work from home late in the evening or on the weekend. It is no wonder that the accounting field is attracting so many network professionals.