How Technology Is Transforming the Accounting Profession

Accounting was a job that was slow and often full of imprecisions. But now accounting has become faster and more precise with the help of technology.
In the past, without any technological support, accounting was a painstakingly time-consuming job. Data had to be input manually. Any omission or mistake in the collection process would have a bearing on the quality of deliverable information. Furthermore, time spent on this task was something accountants couldn’t spare more of.
With the emergence of technology, inputs for accounting purposes are quickly and meticulously recorded into numbers. Errors in the process or at the actual time of inputting can be fixed immediately. Additionally, time savings from doing accounting now frees up useful time for the workers.
In conclusion, accounting used to be a tedious task due to slower work and fewer opportunities for checking and rectifying any mistakes. Today, advancements in technology make accounting faster and provide more precision than ever before.

Tying the trend into data analysis tools has helped to make accountants more strategic business advisers and assist clients in understanding their performance and growth opportunities.

Artificial Intelligence

Whereas fears about AI and accounting have mainly centred around replacement of accounting work, especially when accounting tools have the capability to execute several accounting tasks, such as data entry and processing of large amounts of information.

However, while AI can liberate accountants to do more strategic and complex work, replacing these workers will not be straightforward: the core labour AI performs in accounting, is improving data-management processes that would otherwise take considerable time and effort to accomplish manually.

Major accounting software suites such as Xero and QuickBooks are broadening their applications to use AI in automatically writing expense reports, reconciling items, and automatically generating invoices. Other software, such as Oracle and FreshBooks, offer an AWS (Amazon Web Service) instance that can be used to provide AI features that audit books, help with cash-flow planning, revenue forecasting, and other accounting tasks. Similarly, there is a growing need for accountants to come to grips with AI, because this technology can provide a wide range of benefits, as long as the accountant remains skeptical enough to interpret accurately what the AI provides.

Big Data

While accounting departments have long integrated tools such as QuickBooks,which automates many aspects of chasing down financial transactions and spits out reports, new tools such as robo-advisors, e-filing software, and blockchain systems are now dramatically remaking the field.

Modern data analytics technologies can help accountants process data more quickly, and with fewer errors. Tools and technologies based on machine learning and natural language processing techniques can help accountants to find, sort and visualise big data sets, leading to the identification of trends and themes more effectively.

The analysis of big data also helps to improve fore­casting and risk management, as well as providing accounting staff with the kind of granular data on cost drivers that allows for sound business decisions. Mining data has made accounting teams less tabulators and more strategic business advisors. To benefit from all that big data can deliver for firms, however, it is neces­sary to make optimal investments in supporting technology solutions.

Cloud Computing

Now, with cloud accounting, financial data is accessible in real time at any location and whenever the accountant wants – which is a much more effective, agile, flexible, and collaborative, and cost-saving (compared with physical storage) way of working, taking away a physical storage space that otherwise could end up quite costly and cumbersome.

While most cloud technology gives some financial advantages to accountants, some accountants are withholding from trying it out for security reasons; client confidential financial data needs to be stored at a remote location and be encrypted and have multi-factor authentication before being uploaded to the cloud service; the cloud services rely on internet, and internet speed could be the problem when people use cloud services at the same time when bandwith run low.

As a result, cloud computing is improving the ability of accountants to run their business and better serve their clients. Cloud accounting makes real-time financial data from clients easily accessible to the accountant. It allows access into multiple data points, such as invoices, bank accounts, credit cards and even inventory levels. In addition, it allows accountants and their clients to work collaboratively and communicate more easily and quickly. Finally, it fosters more trust between clients and their accountants. For example, if a client needs to provide payment cheques, she can photograph them and securely store them in the cloud. The accountant, in turn, can see the file at their computer and input the information into the bookkeeping software to balance the bank accounts. Accounting firms can use the cloud to hire and train top accounting talent at their firm. Additionally, small accounting firms can recruit today’s younger generations of accounting talent, like Millennials who are keen on remote work, which would otherwise be out of reach for them.

Social Media

Social media is often viewed as a frivolous way that people can communicate with one another and businesses can interact with their customers however it can actually be a highly valuable way for businesses and professionals to interact with consumers and create relationships without spending thousands on advertising.

This means that many accounting firms are using social platforms to broadcast their news and expertise, and signal to clients and prospects that accountancy firms have useful insights to offer about industry developments or taxation issues, for example.

Other bite-sized content such as articles or blogs from their website, quotes or current news snippets can be disseminated through social media platforms such as TikTok, to help accountants create more entertaining content that can be shared in an accessible, relatable way to reach new audiences and grow their network.

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