Technological advancement in the profession has enhanced our ability as accountants to analyse values, interpret data and make valuable inferences. These changes have in many ways made our lives much easier and allows us to perform statistical accounting or forecasting analysis more accurately.
Technology has completely changed the age-old image of an accountant at a desk cluttered with documents and a calculator, crunching numbers all day. Nowadays, we have much more information and data available to us as well as tools that allow us to integrate our work more efficiently and effectively.
Here are some of the ways that technology has left its mark on the accounting profession:
The Nature of Work
Accounting might have historically been comprised of tedious and tiresome tasks, thanks to technology, accessing information is now just a click away. Accounting software and cloud-based computing allow the accountant to gather data and make computations efficiently. This sets the groundwork to be able to make deductions based on the data and help the client plan strategically for the future. Without the need for repetitive number crunching, accountants can now move into more strategic and specialised roles.
New Ways of Doing Business
Traditionally, the accountant-client relationship was mainly conducted over in-person meetings and consultations. This confined your potential clients to those in the same area as you and meant that location was a major factor to consider when a business chooses an accounting firm to work with. There wasn’t much flexibility in this, and it meant that businesses would often have to settle for accounting partners that were nearer them even if they weren’t necessarily better. The need to re-engineer accounting in a post Covid-19 world has brought rise to remote accounting firms and firms that operate digitally with clients irrespective of their physical location.
Covid-19 has undoubtedly emphasised the importance of cloud computing. Cloud-based systems have allowed accounting firms to streamline data in such a way that makes it easily accessible to everyone who requires it. Here are some benefits of cloud-based systems for accounting firms:
- Data is easily accessible wherever you are.
- Analyse data in real time and have access to the most updated version of the data.
- You benefit from ‘unlimited’ storage. While the amount of filing drawers you can fit in your office is limited, the amount of data you can store on the cloud isn’t.
- Your files are secure and backed-up, for improved safe keeping.
The advancement of technology is bringing about a complete overhaul of the accounting profession as we know it. Accounting firms that embrace the change are the ones that are going to thrive in this new landscape. The future of accounting is one with increased digitalisation with a more diversified role of the accountant and untraditional ways of conducting client relationships. Digitalisation is leading to more efficient practices and enabling accounting to play an increasingly strategic role in business.