Whenever the topic of computers taking over human jobs comes up, accountants are on top of the list. As technology makes its way into accountancy, most repetitive routine accountancy tasks have been automated. This put some in the fear of accountants becoming redundant, however, the results are contrary. Accountants today have become even more essential to companies since they now serve as business advisors.
Every industry had to evolve with the developments in technology, but this change is massive when it comes to accountancy and finance. Every day a new technology transforms some part of traditional accountancy practice. With this rapid evolution, keeping up with modern trends is necessary for accountants to stay relevant.
Technology Trends transforming Accounting
Customer expectations increase along with the progression in technology. The survival and growth of accountants rely on embracing new technologies. In this article, we pen down the technologies that brought massive transformations to the field of accountancy and finance.
A significant technology trend is working in the cloud. Cloud computing is the storage and accessibility of data online rather than on a hard drive. Cloud computing is significant for accounting since it paves way for all other cutting-edge technologies including AI, big data, IoT and others. As these technologies become more commonplace, the future of accounting is looking decidedly cloud-based.
A few of the key features of cloud computing that make it essential are mentioned here:
- Instant access to resources
- Continual updating of information
- Constant monitoring, rather than intermittent analysis
- Easier to collaborate and exchange information
- Free flow of information irrespective of location or device
Shifting to cloud-based systems not only simplifies operations and saves storage but additionally allows accountants and clients to analyze data and make decisions based on cutting-edge information. Cloud computing is already a big deal in accounting, learning and implementing it is crucial to grow as a business and to establish your accountancy career.
Artificial intelligence is the most transformative technology of our era. Where the true potential of computer intelligence can still not be determined, it surely has taken over repetitive and routine tasks previously performed by humans. Intelligent behaviour can include learning from experience, determining what is important, handling complex situations, understanding visual images, and being creative or imaginative along with other characteristics.
A few of the key features of AI in accounting are mentioned here:
- Automating complex and repetitive tasks and processes
- Extreme accuracy
- Reducing operating costs and
- Increasing efficiency by up to 40%
- Accountants are freed to focus on the job’s more human-directed tasks
AI can potentially take over complete industries making many professions redundant, but if used smartly can turn out to be a game-changer for your company. By automating rudimentary tasks, it gives accountants freedom to move towards analyzing, decision-making and advisory positions. Incorporating AI results in less workload, organized accounts, speedy sorting through large swaths of data and categorized documentation. This enables accountants to provide efficient recommendations for corporate growth and stability.
Big data can be defined as a collection of large volumes of data, coming at a high velocity, through a variety of sources. Processing these enormous sets of unstructured data is impossible for a traditional server. Today, data is crucial to making business financial decisions. Big data impacts nearly every aspect of the accounting industry.
- Helps produce better data-driven audits
- Helps evaluate tax codes, reduce fraud, and monitor budget and tax expenses
- Saves time, money, and stress for filers
- Create better reports to improve business performance
- Helps design analytical models
- Builds better financial report
- Real-time status monitoring of financial matters
- Facilitates digitizing audit process
Data is the fuel that powers other technology trends that are transforming finance and accounting in the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Analyzing data in huge volumes at high speed enables accountants to drive valuable insights from the unorganized data which was never possible before. These insights help improve internal operations and build revenue. Thus, big data is one of the most valuable technologies that accountants need to adopt in their business processes.
Mobile accounting is said to be the future of accounting industry. It is the ability to access financial and other business-related information through any mobile device like smartphones, laptops, or tablets to accomplish accounting tasks from anywhere and at any time. Mobile devices are the go-to tool for all operations even for accountants. Mobile apps help accounting firms manage their business while on the move. Any task that earlier on required desktop, accounting software, manual ledgers and excel sheets is now incorporated in a single app making accounting accessible and efficient. Along with accelerated operations on the business end, mobile connectivity also bridges accountants/founders and their clients.
The crypto craze is not all fun and games, it has become an integral part of the most important of industries. Blockchain technology is a computer-based recording system that uses cryptocurrency within a user-to-user network. It records all transactions on a public ledger that ensures transparency and security. Such a distributed ledger or blockchain is a highly secure database.
Those who know a little about blockchain understand how it enables smart contracts, facilitates seamless protecting and transferring ownership of assets, verifies people’s identities and credentials, and much more. These features have broad applications in accounting and financial records. Though masses still have their concerns regarding blockchain technology, its adoption in accounting can reduce costs, increase traceability, and enhance security like never before.
Robotic Process Automation (RPA)
Robotic process automation (RPA) is a general set of automation tools for replicating any manual, repetitive process at scale, often by automating manual processes. This technology fully automates labour and time-intensive facets of accounting such as audits, tax preparation, banking, and payroll. RPA empowers humans to focus on strategic operations by delegating run-of-the-mill tasks to robots.
Intelligent automation (IA) is capable of mimicking human interaction and can even understand inferred meaning in client communication and adapt to an activity based on historical data. Process automation establishes and sustains consistency in execution, which results in fewer process errors.
Accounting is the language of business. As business is prone o changes in technology, accounting must keep up. Accountants have always been known to embrace technology to their benefit. This is a necessity for them to stay relevant to the customer demand. Understanding and implementing all these technologies is an essential job requirement for a modern-day accountant. As an accountant or a business founder, you need to be tech-savvy. Metric simplifies the adoption of cutting-edge technologies by evolving features incorporating them. Metric recently launched two product updates that integrate AI-based models. You can have a look at them here.