There’s no doubt that the new levels of interconnectivity, real-time updates, and seamless data collection brought by technology has affected many professions – and accounting is no different. In fact, there are a few technologies in particular that are likely to continue shaking up and streamlining traditional responsibilities and practices. The future of accounting is definitely bright, but how to make sure you’re actually ready for it?
It doesn’t matter if you’re a seasoned specialist who wants to gain the competitive edge of the industry, or an aspiring accountant yourself – in order to fully embrace the emerging trends, you first need to understand them. Here are the most important trends impacting the future of accounting.
Tech trends affecting the future of accounting
Cloud technology is here to stay – and rightly so. It’s replacing the need for physical storage for key resources and information that can be accessed from anywhere. Not to mention that these assets are also being updated in real-time, which makes it much easier to share and collaborate on them together with your team, partners and clients.
As cloud-based solutions develop, the current gap between legacy accounting systems and cloud-based software is likely to close. It’s definitely not a bad change, though. Cloud-based assets and tools allow for more responsiveness, security, and flexibility, which might soon change the dynamics of client-accountant meetings and communications.
As a matter of fact, increasingly more companies decide to move their resources to the cloud – which is why accountants need to be able to access and take advantage of them online.
Proper software doesn’t only make collaboration easier – it also helps to automate plenty of rather time-consuming processes. As advanced systems deal with repetitive tasks and manual work, accountants can actually focus more on analytics and managing client relations.
Such technology might seem new and “exclusive” at first, but the truth is: many companies are already automating accounting processes. In fact, they are even more willing to do the bookkeeping themselves and expect accountants to provide them with relevant insights and financial advice instead.
With both automation and rising client expectations becoming a major part of the profession, though, it’s essential for every accountant to be able to rise to new challenges. For starters, it’s important to learn how to set up and use the accounting software and leverage available accounting integrations.
Such software is not capable of replacing the accountants completely – however, as tech solutions allow us to go beyond basic bookkeeping to other accounting functions, it’s also crucial to be prepared for performing more administrative, managerial and analytical tasks that can only be done well by accounting professionals.
Even though it sounds like a distant future – blockchain is already changing modern accounting. Rumour has it that many accounting firms have already implemented it, including Ernst & Young, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Deloitte, and KPMG.
Why would they do that? Mostly because blockchain is a secure, electronic ledger that tracks and encrypts transactions, which can’t be modified afterward. This, in turn, minimizes the risk of inaccuracies or even fraud, that are often looked for by accountants when examining financial records.
This might not necessarily change the nature of the work, but the way how transactions are being reported and disclosed. What’s also worth keeping in mind is that accountants can save a lot of time and effort on entering all transactions and comparing the records to corresponding bank statements. Yet again, they can focus on more strategic tasks and responsibilities instead.
And once again, the challenge here is to be prepared for their new role. Those who wish to leverage blockchain have to be familiar with relevant software and setting up information transfer for ledgers, contracts, and records. On top of that, they should also be prepared for more strategic, data-driven planning to help clients make better financial decisions.
What does it all mean for the modern accountants, exactly?
It should come as no surprise that emerging technologies have made some major changes to the role of accountants. Since a lot of repetitive tasks can now be automated and managed in the cloud, the role is shifting from compliance to consultation and advice. Especially since there’s also been an increase in accountability across the profession, mostly due to the rising number of more complex accounting standards and regulations.
In such circumstances, the accounting profession is bound to evolve. In fact, the accountants of the future have to be equipped with technical, analytical, and consulting skills to make the most of their new roles and responsibilities. How to make sure you’re ready for the future, then?
- Stay up-to-date: It’s important to stay updated and be able to evaluate best practices for the changing world of accounting. Even if you won’t apply the most recent trends and technologies in practice, your clients will probably have questions about them.
- Put your trust in accounting software & integrations: Accounting software & integrations already help to automate and streamline tasks and processes, allowing the accountants to have time for more strategic activities. Take Amaka, as an example.
- Work with available data and make good use of it: The available data creates opportunities for accountants to be integral in decision making – if taken advantage of properly, that is.
- Keep learning: Having a great technology stack isn’t going to be helpful if no one knows how to use it. It’s important to keep learning and strengthen any skills that will support the applications and systems of the future. On top of that, knowledge of data analysis and security protocols will also become useful.
Prepare for the future of accounting
The emerging tech trends won’t replace accountants, but they will definitely change the nature of their jobs. In order not to stay behind, you have to adapt and stay up-to-date. Follow Amaka and join the professionals who are ready to be at the forefront of the revolution in accounting.