Technology changes everything and while in some fields these changes may be of dubious character, in fields such as accounting, it’s really hard to find a negative side to these improvements. Any law-abiding entrepreneur needs to be aware of the fact that with these advancements, their accounting will become more reliable and their accounting services substantially cheaper. However, entrepreneurs are probably not the first that are going to experience this change. After all, the majority of businesses are already outsourcing this function and will continue doing so, regardless of these changes. This role goes to numerous accounting firms that will have to adjust to this change in circumstances.
1. Artificial intelligence (AI)
The first thing that we need to consider is the fact that we’re currently on the brink of getting a real AI, while most industries already have sophisticated AI-backed software on their disposal. In most industry, people would fear such a trend, believing that it stands to replace a human factor, however, this is not the direction in which this trend is heading. With the help of AI software, accountants will have a more sophisticated aid, more precise analysis and more trustworthy financial projections. In other words, they’ll be able to deal with the most complex aspect of the job, the one that requires human ingenuity and creativity, while leaving all the minor tasks to the AI.
2. The more efficient hiring process
One more option that might come to revolutionize accounting firms is the notion of cloud computing. Not only is this more pragmatic and secure but even helps greater collaboration between on-spot teams and telecommuters. Seasoned accountants are hard to come by, so, if offered an option to collaborate with a firm as part-time consultants with the option of working from home, they are more likely to accept. This means that these accounting firms suddenly get a much bigger and much more promising talent pool. Even without these trends, the fact is that cloud-based tools simply provide a better service.
Moreover, this will also allow firms to work from smaller offices or shared office spaces, seeing as how the majority of their staff is working from their homes. This notion also brings one hidden perk of allowing your introverts to achieve maximum productivity. Due to the fact that introverts are naturally less inclined to be distracted by short-term rewards, they’re particularly useful in this industry. Finally, by automating your hiring process, you can make a much better selection of employees more quickly.
3. Greater availability
Another way in which accounting is benefiting from technology is the fact that they are suddenly becoming much more available in their own regions. In the past, accountants were chosen only amongst those that are in the vicinity of the company, yet, nowadays, a firm from across the continent can look for accountants in Pyrmont area, Sydney if they deem their offer as worthy. Choosing the right partner is even more important than you may think at the moment, especially due to the fact that this partner is required to do more than simple tax preparations and financial statements. BAS preparation, GST advice, and SMSF audit are equally as important, which is why you need a partner that’s efficient in all of these fields.
4. Record keeping and big data analysis
The next thing you need to keep in mind is the fact that the majority of guides suggest that you should keep your account records for at least seven years. Still, this was mostly meant for the era where these records were kept in physical format and not in the cloud or on massive HDDs. Due to the fact that digital copies of these records are so compact, there’s really no reason why one should ever delete them. In fact, the bigger sample you provide for your big data analytics tool or BI tool, the more accurate estimate you get.
5. Automated updates
While it may not be as easy to change the tax law or regulation, once this actually happens, this is an update that needs to be adjusted to. In the past, this was a major issue, seeing as how it mandated that every single accountant in the land slightly alter their practices. Due to the fact that a lot of processes are handled automatically, nowadays, it would only require a slight alteration in the algorithm. This kind of automation may lead to a smaller margin of error, which is definitely a step in the right direction.
6. Social media marketing and outreach
In the past, accounting firms had limited means of targeting potential clients and reaching out to them. Now, due to the fact that virtually every company out there has a LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter account, identifying potential clients and reaching out to them is easier than ever. Due to the fact that these companies offer various information on these profiles, an accounting firm (a person in charge of outreach) can do a thorough research prior to contacting them. Reading their story, their objectives and learning a thing or two about their corporate values can help with the customization of outreach for a greater efficiency.
Aside from the unfounded fear that the machines (in this case AI software) are taking over, it’s fairly hard to find the negative side of this technological advancement. The future is now and a surprisingly large portion of the accounting industry is adjusting to it. Needless to say, this gives one quite an optimistic perspective on the future of the business world.