The accounting industry is known for being conservative, old-fashioned, and sluggish to adopt new technologies. But is this actually the case? No. In fact, technology is changing accounting, and accounting is changing technology in an equally interesting way.
Not As Traditional as Some Might Think
Many people might not be aware of the ground-breaking contributions accounting has made throughout history, particularly when it comes to promoting the adoption of and adjusting to new technologies.
For instance, adding machines – which were ultimately antecedents to the computer – were first employed by the accounting profession in order to calculate taxes, which helped to drive the adoption of new technology. Modern accounting, including management accounting, was the driving force behind the adoption and development of ERP systems, which have completely changed how businesses operate today.
Similar to how accounting has been at the forefront of technology adaptation, often out of necessity. Accounting had to adjust swiftly when the Industrial Revolution fundamentally altered the speed and complexity of business in order to enable the many stakeholders to genuinely understand what was happening – and, by extension, to secure the sustainability and dependability of the entire financial system.
How Technology Is Transforming Accounting and Business in General
The subject of how technology is changing accounting actually touches on broader issues such as how technology is changing business and, consequently, how accounting both influences and is influenced by these trends.
The modern business world is complex. The unanticipated worldwide consequences of the mortgage crisis in 2008 served as a stark reminder of the intricacy and interdependence inherent in international commerce, and this has only got harder for the average person to understand.
Users of financial statements need reassurance that all liabilities are reported, key figures are accurate, a company’s prospects are adequately presented, and that everything is timely made available to all stakeholders in light of the fact that businesses now use algorithms to make trading decisions or sell advanced artificial intelligence (AI)-driven software products.
The magnitude and complexity of the transactions make it impossible for a human to audit an algorithmic trading corporation, hence a software programme must be utilised to guarantee a valid audit result. Only technology can oversee this technology.
Accountants have forced to adopt cutting-edge technologies themselves in order to fulfil their increasingly important job, which requires them to comprehend, quantify, and report on this new language of business.
Reporting and auditing in real-time
Businesses have been accustomed to a cycle of audits for many years. These may be quarterly or yearly, but this was a deadline for accountants. It was necessary to seal off, prepare for, and present to auditors an entire period.
This cycle is being utterly overturned by technology. Auditors now have constant access to data, regulations, and decisions thanks to sophisticated accounting systems that interact with organisations in real time. It enables the faster, more precise, and more reliable delivery of financial information, signalling a significant shift in the way business is now performed and how decisions are made in that setting.
Driving Value and Insights
Accounting may have once been associated with tedious manual labour. These processes are now automated thanks to technology, and accounting is now more than simply “the process” and has entered the value realm.
With the use of cutting-edge technical advancements like advanced analytics, AI, machine learning, natural language processing, and many more, accountants can now find insights, spot patterns, make strategic plans, and provide an incredible level of value.
As a result, the CFO now occupies a prominent position in the corporate boardroom and sits at the CEO’s right hand while making nearly all significant decisions.
Starting Up and Dealing with Technology Challenges
The question that many readers will be asking is, “All of this sounds great, but what should I expect when making the transition to more advanced technology?”
Making the switch to more sophisticated technologies has historically been difficult for accountants. This was caused by a number of things, including complicated, heavily customised on-premise systems. Here are three best practises to get ahead when it comes to technology utilisation and value in order to help you overcome these obstacles.
1. Stick with SaaS
Compared to on-premise solutions, Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solutions are typically simpler to use, more standardised, automatically updated, and have a familiar interface. For example, Sage’s Intacct, a superb example of a SaaS solution and is cloud based, so you don’t need to invest in on-premise servers and other costly infrastructure.
2. Rely on assistance
The majority of the best accounting technology platforms have knowledgeable support staff on hand to guide you through setup, onboarding, and tool usage. You should take advantage of this resource to get the most out of it.
3. Encourage team participation
Using new technology can be difficult. You’ll not only feel more supported if you tackle it as a team rather than an individual, but you’ll also cut down on the time required for regular training while adding lasting value.
Future Accounting and Technology
As long as these tendencies persist, accounting will greatly benefit from advancing technology.
Technology is not taking the place of the accountant; rather, it is enabling the accountant to achieve greater things, which is encouraging for the future of the industry. Young aspiring accountants are entering a world that is about to undergo a technological transformation, one in which they will engage in high-value, high-impact activities propelled by innovation. The entire financial system stands to gain, and everyone involved should find this thrilling.
The accounting industry has the opportunity to continue setting the pace and fostering a more technologically advanced future for everyone if it continues to make technology investments.
If you would like to see how Itas Solutions can help you and your organisation reap the benefits of technology in your accounting and the latest cloud solutions for your business accounting needs with powerful cloud accounting software such as Sage’s Intacct, we will only be too happy to show you the benefits and how we can help.
Who we are
Itas Solutions began in 1995 with just one client and today serves over 200 businesses around the UK and we are always on call to help our clients.
Itas is a company trusted by our clients for more than 20 years, and we have grown through customer and IT professional recommendations who appreciate the knowledgeable yet individualised service we provide.
You can reach out to us at [email protected], give us a call at +44 (0) 1824 780 000, or send an email to learn more about how Itas can assist your company with finance automation, Sage implementation, and improved purchasing control.