As technology continues to move forward, it is transforming the way the accounting industry operates. While some accountants may still be resistant to the changes brought about by technology, the vast majority are seeking ways to continue growing their client base and as a result are adopting technology to shape the future of their businesses.
More record keeping tools reduces the need for manual work
With the greater availability of processing tools and specialised accounting software, it is evident that there is a reduced margin of error for accountants. Gone are the days of using Excel for data entry or running manual ledgers. With the advances in technology, most companies now have specialised software that provides more streamlined data entry.
As the use of specialised software programs increases, there is less need for basic number crunching. Ofcourse, accountants need to be good number crunchers to begin with, however the value that accountants can provide their clients is now centred around strategic planning. Clients expect their accountants to give them advice, to help them develop processes and to plan for future budget needs and revenue forecasting.
Communication has changed
With the rise in social media usage, accounting firms are also creating an online presence. By creating profiles on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, accountants are attracting new clients but also finding ways to interact and communicate with their peers and networks. That’s not to say business is not still conducted in-person anymore. In fact, face to face meetings are still important part of the accounting profession, however the rise in online communication provides various avenues for accountants and clients to stay in touch.
Cloud computing is on the rise
The cloud was once feared by accountants because of the sensitive nature of the financial data that they work with. However, as cloud computing becomes more widespread and the myths and concerns regarding security are being dispelled, more accounting firms are embracing the productivity benefits of the cloud.
Data Keeps Getting Bigger
Everyone talks about big data, but what is it really? ‘Big data’ describes a company’s massive portfolio of data that is unstructured and machine generated. The potential in big data comes from being able to use it in the right way to enhance productivity and profitability. This can be through insights into seasonal variation in product or demands, in customer complaints or in purchase decisions. With access to big data, accountants can help their clients improve their strategic decision making.
The ability to use big data analysis tools to gain insights about business issues such as customer payment behaviour, seasonal variation in demand for products and services and customer complaints will be critical to this.
With many of the changes in the accounting coming from technology advances, there is a gap between IT skills and business skills. As a result, the senior managers of accounting firms are better trying to understand technology in order to aid in decision making.