Technology advances continue to reshape industries and businesses – and the accounting industry is no exception. So far, a lot of repetitive tasks are performed with the help of advanced hardware and software. Even for businesses that do not like change, many find themselves making adjustments due to a generation change in the workforce, marketing demands, regulations and client demand. In any case, technology offers strengths once a business adopts new solutions to the accounting processes.
Technological innovations offer inexpensive and efficient ways to run businesses and other aspects of life. Every now and then, there is news on emerging technologies.
Here are some tech trends that are expected to influence the accounting industry in the year 2020:
The internet has enabled the storage and processing of data from remote servers. Small- and medium-sized businesses can now leverage the power of the internet and access data and infrastructure without worrying about the cost of purchasing and maintaining hardware and software services on-site. The ease of accessing data anytime and anywhere helps businesses save valuable time. Such benefits will continue driving more businesses to adopting the use of cloud-based accounting systems.
Automating repetitive tasks has helped eliminate manual data entry while saving production hours at the same time. Since technology continues to advance, the accounting industry will see more tasks become automated. This trend can be observed in the growing number of accounting software available for both small and large businesses. Artificial intelligence will also contribute to automation in the industry. This is already evident with the increased development and adoption of robotic process automation.
In the early 2000s, social media platforms were mainly used to communicate with family and friends. Today, social media is making an impact in digital marketing. Social media platforms will continue influencing how businesses communicate with their clients.
Apart from reaching out to more clients, accounting firms can also find talent to hire from social media platforms such as LinkedIn.
Big Data and Data Analytics
With advanced data collection and processing, it’s now possible to have access to insights and predictive analysis. Although analytics is not entirely new in accounting, the availability of data analytics tools makes it more powerful. This is important for business owners as it helps to improve decision making as well as understand the overall status of a company with the click of a button.
This digital currency has revolutionized the financial industry with millions of coins present in the market today, including Bitcoin, Ripple and Ethereum among others. This digital currency has taken root so much that it is now accepted as a means of payment. Cryptocurrency has been enabled by blockchain technology.
For businesses, blockchain technology helps maintain a unique history of all interactions with various parties, which is indisputable. Widely known accounting companies like Ernst Young and Price Waterhouse already have people working in distributed ledger laboratories. The blockchain technology will not only lower the cost of reconciling and maintaining ledgers, but it will also provide accuracy of ownership and asset history.
Remote work settings are becoming common in most industries, and accounting leaders are also adapting this trend. With expectations of more advanced computerized accounting systems as well as cloud-based solutions, it will not be a surprise to have your accountant handling accounting tasks remotely.
With technology largely affecting how businesses are run, it’s no longer enough for a business to stick to traditional accountancy practices.
As technology and accounting becomes more intertwined, it’s wise for businesses to stay ahead of the curve. The most important way to deal with it is to embrace the technology, learn about new technologies and most importantly, learn new skills. This will ensure that your business remains competitive as you are ready to meet customer demands for faster processes.
Marlon Williams has more than two decades of experience working with governmental entities and municipalities.He is one of few ACL Certified Data Analysts (ACDAs) in the State of Texas and is an active member of GFOA and currently serves as a member of the GFOA’s Special Review Committee for the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting Program. Connect with Marlon on Linkedin.