6 Trends Accountants Should Watch Out For
- 1.1 Cloud-based accounting solutions
- 1.2 Digitalization and automation
- 1.3 Growing focus on analytics and data management
- 1.4 Digital bookkeeping
- 1.5 The expanding role of social media
- 1.6 Integration of Blockchain technology
The incorporation of technology is changing almost every major professional field, and accounting is no different. Over the last few years, AI, machine learning, and a host of other technologies have advanced rapidly, allowing them to transform conventional practices significantly. Although a human touch is still mandatory, accountants have their work cut out for them with all the latest software and cloud-based solutions available in the market.
Although the demand for accountants in the job market continues to grow, their responsibilities do too. According to statistics made available by Sage, a cloud business management solutions provider, 82% of accountants say that their clients demand greater value for money and the extent of services these days. Moreover, 67% of accounting professionals believe their field has become more competitive nowadays than ever.
Top 6 Trends Accountants Should Watch Out For
It is clear that things are changing for accountants globally. So, what are the trends that professionals should look out for? Here are a few:
Cloud-based accounting solutions
Cloud computing is allowing businesses, both small and large, to streamline various internal as well as external functions. As per recent statistics, 53% of accounting companies already use cloud-based solutions to enhance communication and introduce greater efficiency in their project management department. On top of this, 67% of businesses feel that their sustainability and ability to better carry out roles in the future will improve through cloud technology.
Naturally, since the role of cloud computing is already this extensive and growing further, accountants need to be on their toes with respect to it. Professionals for whom cloud-based solutions are fairly new can start to learn more about them through digital resources like the MACC online programs. These courses combine flexibility and time efficiency to facilitate professionals in diversifying their current skill sets to encompass the newest trends.
Digitalization and automation
For the past few years and especially after the COVID-19 pandemic, digitalization has become a fundamental part of modern businesses. Thankfully, accountants have been privy to this trend for a long time now. A vast array of online tools has enabled accounting professionals to efficiently execute their tasks more quickly than ever before. This trend of automation and digitalization will only continue, even gathering steam as time progresses.
In accounting, a substantial 86% of tasks like journal entries and ledger balancing can undergo automation thanks to the sophisticated tools available on the market. Even a basic Excel sheet can automate many tasks accountants had to perform manually a few years ago. Since a lot of the work that accountants do can be simplified through automation, like the manual retrieval of financial records and verifying transactions, it is important for professionals to stay up-to-date with this change.
Growing focus on analytics and data management
Data has become one of the most valuable currencies of the modern age. Still, raw data is of little use to businesses. As a result, there is a growing focus on analytics these days as this function allows random numbers to make sense for people to use in strategic decision-making. This fact holds essential relevance to accountants because they have access to some of the most important data in the company. Through analytics, past performance can be evaluated, and future projections estimated according to it.
As time moves on, businesses will require accountants to focus more on analyzing data to gauge as well as assess financial figures for the future. This data allows companies to track their goals and objectives and achieve other business aspirations like expansion or consolidation. Therefore, the focus on analytics is another trend that accountants should consider.
Although this trend has already been around for many years, experts predict that it will continue to expand in the future. Paper is increasingly becoming the less preferable medium for recording transactions. There are companies out there that still keep physical records of their financial statements, but most have shifted towards paperless bookkeeping for many years. The companies that currently keep paper records will eventually go digital completely, so this is something that accountants need to be ready for.
The expanding role of social media
Most people believe that social media can’t possibly have an impact on accounting. That is extremely far from the truth. Social media, in particular, and digital media, in general, are the most effective mediums for advertising. Accounting firms are no different as these platforms offer them extensive reach, the ability to engage with existing and prospective clients, and also communicate key messages about the firm to the world.
Through the use of social media, accounting businesses are able to get their word out into the world. At the same time, it also allows them to portray themselves in a manner that can attract new talent. Job demand in the accounting field continues to grow, and promoting the firm’s culture, work ethics, and portfolio on social media allows future employees to take an interest in working for the company. This is a trend that has been around for years and will only continue to evolve in the future.
Integration of Blockchain technology
The world of cryptocurrencies still inspires hot debates amongst financial experts. And while the volatility of this market keeps many at bay, there is consensus on the fact that the underlying technology that powers many cryptocurrencies is here to stay. Known as Blockchain technology, this decentralized ledger system is already making its way into the financial world. From remittances to record keeping in the financial industry, a lot is being done through this technology.
With experiments that continue, experts predict that sooner or later, the role of Blockchain will grow further, especially in the field of accounting. Since this technology allows more efficient record keeping and provides higher quality data, accountants find numerous advantages to working with it. Additionally, it is nearly impossible to alter information stored on a Blockchain, making it a life-saver for finance and accounting professionals who are continuously dealing with threats from hackers and other cybercriminals around the world.
Most of the evolution of the accounting field is because of state-of-the-art technology solutions. As time passes, many trends like automation, integration of Blockchain, focus on analytics, and digital record keeping will expand even further. In order for current accounting professionals to stay relevant in their jobs, they need to be aware of these shifting dynamics and adjust their skill sets accordingly. Not only does this allow them to embrace a stronger position, but it also gives them the opportunity to grow their career substantially.