The Future of Accounting….
Is digital. Roll credits.
Alright, fine, we will go into more detail on what it means to be an accountant in the year of shiny things and beyond. Like virtually every industry, the ever-advancing digital age has transformed the way people look at the way jobs are done. Unsurprisingly, this has caused no stir in the accounting community, wondering how long they have until the robots take over the money. But today we will be going over some major updates you can expect in the next several years regarding accounting.
Future of Accounting:
The most used aspect of technology is how easy it makes everything—research, communication, development, production, writing, and accounting. We have collectively, as a species, agreed that more accessible is better, and over the last several years, we have moved towards making our lives as stress-free as possible.
In accounting, this has taken the form of manual process automation. Things like data processing, bill processing, and workflows can all now be performed by a soulless machine. The thought process here is that humans are better at deep analytical thought, forecasts, and risk analysis, with the ability to think outside of patterns. Freeing up manual processes gives humans more time to do things the machines just can’t.
In 2021, we surveyed what accountants want to see in financial management solution software (or ERP), with the overwhelming majority answering automation. No surprise, either! The internet and globalization are integral to how businesses do business. Higher demand, higher costs. Automation fixes this in a couple of different ways. A machine will not become tired. A machine will work night and day without mistakes.
Secondly, it saves time by cutting back on how many accountants you need to keep up with the absurd about of manual work the job requires. This way, you can pay fewer people and keep the ones you have but put them to work using their great minds for tasks like risk analysis and forecasting. Machines can only do so much to predict the future. Imagination still wins out.
New technologies are emerging daily, and impacting how companies are doing business across all all departments, especially accounting.
The cloud is an obvious choice; we use it exclusively here at Xledger. The Cloud has many advantages, but its true gift became apparent during the COVID-19 pandemic. Suddenly, people need to work but can not travel for work. Introducing the thing that will redefine how we look at work/life balance: hybrid remote via the cloud. The cloud means no more having to store data locally; you can access your work files while on a “business” trip in Florida. So you can crunch numbers on the beach while crunching crab legs.
Cryptocurrency is another major factor in the world of money. (Some people may not think this qualifies as a new “technology,” but I’m writing the blog, so too bad.) With bitcoin becoming everyone’s favorite way to buy a new Tesla, technology has had to adapt quite quickly. Businesses took notice, investing in the dominant forms of crypto, like bitcoin, Ethereum, and Dogecoin.
This has also led to the discovery of the Blockchain, wherein the records of transactions are constantly updated and verified through a multitude of users. Companies are looking at this to decided how to use it beyond crypto. The Blockchain’s inherent anti-corruption aspect is also excellent for our privacy-focused world.
As these new technologies are implemented, it will become increasingly important for accountants to become proficient in using technology and associated/relevant software programs. Being able to answer questions from employees about how to set up their ledgers, submit reports, store data, and anything else will likely fall under the umbrella of accounting responsibilities, along with leveraging the advanced features of things like Blockchain and the cloud.
The other principal skillset accountants should expect to encounter in the upcoming years relates to automation. As previously mentioned, heavy automation of manual processes will become the standard, which means accountants will need to understand how to take on more serious roles in risk analysis, advising clients, analyzing and sorting big data, and financial pattern recognition. No longer will accounting be bean counting but bean analyzing.
So, in conclusion, the future of accounting is digital. It involves mass automation of manual processes. A heavier reliance on people who understand emerging technologies. A greater focus on accountants capable of analysis and data insight. And A utilizing new technologies to organize better and manage money.