An investigation into the motivators and drivers of technological Innovation in accountancy firms based in the USA

Robert Phillips, Woraluck Thanapon

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Abstract

Accountancy firms form an important element of a countries’ economic value, however, whilst there is considerable research into the service sector as a whole, there is little research which focuses specifically on accountancy firms themselves and how they innovate. This study used semi structured interviews with five senior members of different accounting firms in the U.S. from which it was determined that the drivers of technological innovations were principally motivated by efficiency. Efficiency was important for a number of reasons. Firstly, aiding staff retention in terms of both providing feedback and allowing staff to perform less of the mundane tasks and focus on more analytical and strategic work and it was suggested younger staff members enjoyed using the new technology encouraging staff retention and job satisfaction. Secondly, staying competitive with pricing for customers was also a driver for using innovations to become more efficient, although increasing the profit margin was also suggested as savings made by innovations are not always passed on to customer (I.e. value pricing), reducing the time and manual activity to do tasks was a key driver to improving the profitability of work. Thirdly, security was mentioned as an important area for innovation – both to keep confidentiality of clients’ data and to allow employees to work securely off site allowing staff flexibility in terms of working from home or at a clients’ site. The results also suggest that accounting firms engage in direct communication and collaboration with their employees, clients, alliances, and suppliers as a source of technological innovations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)28
Number of pages74
JournalJournal of Asia Entrepreneurship and Sustainability
Volume14
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2018

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