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Where Will You Be in 10 Years? Intuit’s 2020 Report Predicts the Future

(Note: this blog entry originally ran on

CPAs and accountants are always asking me about their future. Perhaps they think my nickname is “Swami Cytron.” While I do not read tea leaves or fortunes, I did come across a new credible resource that speaks to life 10 years in our future: Intuit’s 2020 Report. In fact, Intuit just posted a story on this on their new ProLine News site.

Intuit’s Accounting Professionals Division got together with Emergent Research to conduct a series of meetings with members of the profession to identify trends that will affect us over the next 10 years. I was fortunate to attend one of these sessions in December 2010 when a gathering of accounting journalists and bloggers met in Plano, Texas, to give their thoughts about the report’s findings.

Since that time, the original report was modified to identify four key trends:

  1. Shifting Business Environment Creates New Opportunities Specialization and collaboration will lead to increased opportunities for accounting and tax professionals who will work across global borders to meet their client needs, made possible by advances in technology.
  2. Demographic Shifts Change the Face of Professionals and Clients – Demographic shifts and a growing U.S.-based minority population will have broad implications for firms and their clients, influencing how, when and with whom they do business.
  3. From Data to Decision Making, Technology Changes the Accounting Profession – As technology expands and the automation of data collection rises, the focus of accounting will shift from computation to consulting as clients increasingly rely on their accounting professionals to analyze business information, support decisions and provide strategic advice.
  4. High-Tech Enhances High-Touch Client Outreach, Relationships and Service – Social media and ubiquitous mobile technologies will become even more pervasive, changing the way accounting and tax professionals conduct business and attract new clients. It will be imperative for practitioners to manage their web and mobile presences to establish firm reputation and brand.

Naturally, I want to focus on technology more than any other area, but I do think there are very notable predictions in all of the areas of the report. From my view, the 4th key trend hits home the most because I am always preaching to my clients about the importance of communications with clients (and prospects), and how they can increase their “touch” points with them.

I urge you to review the entire report and think about how these predictions will affect your practice or business.

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. It’s interesting to note that Intuit has a social media style bullet point that they see will be important within the next 10 years while it’s already become a very strong staple of client growth within the past two to three years.

  2. Peter – good point; remember, too, that many accountants are just now realizing how social media can help them … But at least they are way more advanced than the lawyers!

  3. It’s also going to be a long uphill battle before social media becomes as ubiquitous for relatively “slow” or “boring” industries like it has for others or larger corporations. A nice follow up would be how, with the demographic shift, one could make say, Twitter, a more valuable piece of an accountants firm.

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