Technology has evolved rapidly in the last few years, impacting every aspect of a business. Accounting is no exception. Technological advancements have helped accountants automate regular tasks, improve data analysis, and increase productivity. Innovations such as automation, artificial intelligence, and cloud computing have changed accounting as we knew it, making it easier and more efficient.
With the use of the latest technology, the role of accountants is also changing. Accountants are no longer required to carry out complex calculations themselves; instead, their role is geared more towards that of a business advisor now.
So, what technologies have transformed the landscape of accounting in recent years? Here are the top 5 ways tech is enhancing the accounting industry:
1. Specialized Accounting Software
Accounting software has made bookkeeping easier and more productive. Features such as automatically recording transactions and managing accounts have not only reduced the workload of accountants but also allowed them to focus on more productive tasks. Accounting software systematically records the transactions, making it easier to retrieve the data later on. Most accounting software also produces numerous reports and offers data analysis as an additional function.
With the advancements in technology, accountants can now use separate software for specialized tasks such as lease accounting & taxation. In addition, most accounting software allows integration into tax and lease accounting software, making the work easier for the accountants. It not only makes filing returns faster but also more accurate. It also streamlines a business’s accounting processes, reducing accountants’ workload and improving the process’s overall efficiency.
2. Cloud Computing
The evolution of the internet and the introduction of cloud computing has completely changed how the business world works. It has enabled businesses to access their data virtually from anywhere in the world. It has helped in the automation of the accounting profession as well. With accounting data available on the cloud, accountants can now access it remotely and improve their productivity. It has paved the path to remote working and removes the need to go to offices.
In addition, cloud computing eliminates the need to invest in expensive servers and computers to store the data as your business grows. You can purchase additional space on the cloud at a fraction of the cost. Moreover, the cloud is more secure as it keeps a backup of your files in case the unexpected happens.
3. Artificial Intelligence and Robotics
Adding big data, robotics (automation), and artificial intelligence into business processes is crucial to succeeding in today’s world. Robotic technology is at the core of automation in accounting processes. It uses robotic process automation (RPA) to reduce human interventions in complex accounting processes and increases accuracy.
Big Data also plays a major role in the automation of accounting processes. It helps in providing a large amount of raw data that can be analyzed using natural language processing. The analyzed data can provide helpful insights into improving a business’s tax situation and also help in financial planning.
Artificial intelligence can also help accountants in the automation of accounting processes. It takes over the time-consuming, redundant, and repetitive tasks and performs them in no time, effectively saving the accountant’s time and improving their productivity. In addition, AI algorithms utilize the raw accounting data to perform data analysis and provide multiple accounting reports. It has helped accountants to focus on actionable insights into improving the business’s finances.
4. Mobile Accounting
As we are living in a world where everything is being done on mobile devices, it is essential to use mobile accounting for a business to succeed in today’s competitive business landscape. It not only helps accountants access the data through mobile phones but also helps in communication between accountants and their clients. Companies like Xero are at the forefront of improving mobile accounting for the masses. Their mobile apps allow firms to manage their accounts on the go. Accountants’ work has become easier with features such as sending invoices, reconciliations, adding receipts, and creating expense claims available on mobile apps.
Mobile accounting also enables the management of tasks and team meetings with a single click on mobile devices. It allows accountants to stay active 24/7 to answer customer queries as soon as it is posted.
5. Social Media
Social media is yet another technological revolution that has made the life of an accountant easier. Although social media is not directly involved in productivity improvement, it is a great tool for gaining new clients. Digital marketing is transforming how accounting firms used to market their services in the past. Running an ad campaign on social media is cost-effective and helps accountants win clients from different regions. Thanks to cloud accounting and artificial intelligence, accountants can take clients from any region/country without worrying about access to data.
While most accounting firms use traditional marketing tools, some are still reluctant to use social media marketing solutions for their business’s growth.
6. Diverse Roles of Accountants
While technology has helped accountants save both their time and effort, it has also shifted their role from bookkeeping to a business advisors. Accountants don’t have to do the tiresome computing and calculating work nowadays; instead, they are expected to provide insights on how to improve the finances of a business. By using accounting software to analyze the data, accountants can use their time to find ways of improving the tax situation of their clients.
The need for strategic accounting roles has increased rapidly. Specialized accountants who can provide specialty services such as financial planning, data analysis and interpretation, and business consultancy services are in high demand now. Those who have upscaled their skills can easily outshine others in today’s competitive landscape.
We are living at a time when technology is advancing at an accelerated rate. As technology progresses, it has changed almost every aspect of our lives, from our personal to professional lives. This has facilitated the transformation of our business practices, especially accounting, for the better.
The use of cloud computing, artificial intelligence, big data, automation, and specialized accounting software has revolutionized the accounting industry. Despite having no direct relation to an accountant’s productivity, social media still plays a major role in getting new clients on board. In addition, the rapidly advancing tech makes accountants’ jobs easier and has transformed them from bookkeepers to business advisors.