The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) passed in December 2017, which created some confusion and upheaval for the accounting industry. In 2020, accountants and business leaders are still determining the impact of the TCJA and the best strategies to maximize its benefits.
However, all businesses will face similar accounting challenges in the coming year, and if you mishandle any of these challenges—you will lose money.
Here are some of the challenges to be prepared for.
Be Familiar with the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is affecting everything from meals and entertainment expenses to depreciation. Make sure you’re keeping your accounting software up to date every month so it can do the heavy lifting for you when it comes to new rates and deductions.
Read up on the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and think of ways that your business can take advantage of it. This includes cutting down on entertainment expenses, investing in new business equipment before the end of 2022, and offering paid family and medical leave to your employees. And, while it’s not directly related to the TCJA—don’t forget to factor virtual currencies into your tax preparation planning if your business or clients use them.
Use Automation and AI to Your Advantage:
AI is becoming more capable of handling complex accounting duties such as collecting transactions and compiling them into financial statements and tax returns. While automation can free up time for higher-value work such as analysis and forecasting while increasing engagement and reducing staff turnover, it could also replace jobs that actual humans do.
Plan for allowing staff to double-check the work done by automation. The best accounting professionals will make themselves invaluable by evolving into more of an advisory role, helping their businesses properly implement new accounting automation technology as it becomes more capable and more complex.
Accounting automation is here to help do accounting jobs more efficiently. Help staff grow so that they can focus on non-repetitive, strategic tasks such as financial planning and analysis, or financial risk management.
Grow into the future:
Based on the above, your accounting staff will need to diversify and grow their skill sets. Make sure your employees are trained and familiar with advanced features, like forecasting and analytics, so they’re better equipped to interpret and translate the increasingly deep data it provides into actionable advice.
Accountants will need to offer more strategic advice to clients by merely surveying where their customers are struggling and what their business goals are, and then digging into the numbers to find insights on how they can get there. You will need to support this by making sure training and certificate programs are available to employees so they grow (and by extension, your business can grow) into the future.
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