How can accountants use data analytics to improve business processes?

Across industries and sectors, new technologies and data analytics have become a critical part of the day-to-day running of businesses of all shapes and sizes. 

Data-driven by default, accountants can significantly improve the efficiency of their client’s business processes by harnessing the power of data. With data analytics, accountants can discover valuable financial insights, mitigate risks and recognise potential opportunities for process improvement.

As data analytics have become increasingly essential for businesses, accountants have been given a unique opportunity to differentiate themselves from the competition and future-proof their careers by becoming data experts.

So, how can accountants leverage data analytics to improve business processes? In this article, we’ll discuss how data grants accountants the ability to:

  • Gain valuable insight
  • Mitigate potential risks
  • Streamline tax season
  • Automate daily processes

Read on to discover how data analytics can be used to improve business performance and add real value to your client’s organisations. 

What is data analytics?

Put simply, data analytics is the process of collecting, analysing and transforming data into useful information. This information, in turn, informs decision making. Successfully utilising data analytics puts organisations in the best position to make strategic decisions, with the most reliable information at their disposal.

Gain valuable insights

The insights gained from data analytics can drastically improve business processes. 

Accountants can use data insights to deepen their understanding of their clients’ organisations, including day-to-day operations, markets, customers, competitors, and potential risks.

The real-time benefits of analytics can be exploited to continually fine-tune business performance. Using the information gathered from data, analytics supports agility and responsiveness, allowing organisations to swiftly change direction and constantly improve their operations and services at a moment’s notice. 

Through data analytics, accountants have access to invaluable information, reducing the reliance on guesswork and assumptions. When utilised correctly, data analytics grants opportunities to improve business decisions and processes.

Mitigate potential risks

Data analytics empowers accountants to look into the future and is an efficient way to mitigate potential risks and improve business processes.

But how exactly can data help mitigate potential risks?

Financial risk management
Through data analytics, accountants have access to various data types and can better analyse (and prevent) financial risks, credit risks, operational risks and compliance risks. Assessing risk across an organisation is essential for both business health and improved performance.

Identify and prevent fraud
With data analytics and a keen eye, accountants can identify and prevent fraud within their organisations. Using data analytics is quicker and takes significant pressure off staff, saving critical human resources and allowing them to focus on other areas of the business. Data enables companies to pinpoint discrepancies and inconsistencies faster, making it easier to recognise specific sources of fraud.

Adapt to changes in the market
Efficient businesses can demonstrate agility and resilience in the face of a rapidly changing business landscape. Armed with the right data, accountants can react quickly to evaluate current business strategy and objectives. Data analytics enables organisations to change course in response to shifting market conditions for better business performance.

Streamline tax season

The impact of data analytics can be felt in every area of the accounting industry. For firms and CPAs preparing for the upcoming tax season, data analytics are creating more dependable, streamlined and data-driven experiences for both accountants and their clients. 

During tax season, data analytics can help evaluate tax codes, reduce instances of fraud, and monitor budget and tax expenses. This can save accountants valuable time, money, and even potential stress. Using data analytics during the tax process can also help create better, more detailed financial reports that can be used to improve business performance.

Automate daily processes

Data analytics can help improve business processes through automation. 

Advances in technology and AI-powered automation have a significant impact on accountancy. Key areas of bookkeeping and accounting compliance work are fast becoming automated, enabling more efficiency in businesses across sectors and industries. 

By automating data analytics, data systems can take pressure off employees and businesses by automating mundane, repetitive tasks. Instead, allowing organisations to funnel their talent’s labour towards strategy-aligned goals and objectives to improve business processes.

Why do data analytics matter to accountants?

Accountants are expected to add value to their client’s organisations. In a competitive market, CPA’s and firms must constantly evolve to maintain a competitive edge. Data analytics can help accountants uncover valuable insights, mitigate risk and identify potential opportunities for process improvement. 

With advancing technology, accountants have more tools at their disposal to constantly boost business performance and processes within their organisations. The ability to utilise data analytics empowers accountants to make noticeable improvements to their client’s businesses and strengthen their position as industry leaders.

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