Modern technology has had an impact on all of our lives. It has changed how a lot of industries and professions work and accounting is no exception. In this article, we will look at the rapidly changing accounting industry by covering seven ways technology has changed it:

  • Software tools to reduce mistakes
  • Focus on advanced training
  • More efficient client transactions
  • Mobile technology
  • Social media marketing
  • Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning
  • Cloud computing
  1. Software tools to reduce mistakes

With the help of accounting software and processing tools, there’s been a significant reduction in the number of mistakes and time spent on mundane accounting tasks. Unfortunately, these minor errors can end up leading to extra tax penalties and inaccurate financial reports. 

With the help of modern accounting tools, however, they are often automatically fixed or addressed, resulting in better financial health for businesses. They also free up accountants to work on more critical tasks. 

  1. Focus on advanced training

The introduction of the technology mentioned above has also meant that basic accounting training has dramatically decreased. Accountants don’t need years of training to perform basic accounting tasks such as:

  • Tax preparation services
  • Statistical analysis
  • Forecast modelling

Accountants are no longer just the person that handles the numbers. Today’s accountants now have a more versatile role by using modern technology to complete more tedious tasks. 

They are becoming more involved in:

  • Strategic planning
  • Financial consulting
  • Developing new business processes 
  • Analysing everything in the business from a financial perspective. 

These are tasks that require more advanced training and require more of a human touch. 

  1. More efficient client transactions

Digitalisation has made everyone’s lives much easier and a lot more efficient. Companies can work seamlessly and don’t even require an office nowadays. Increasing efficiency has dramatically improved the accounting industry, especially in terms of client transactions. 

Before digitalisation, meeting clients was a long process. Accountants would have to meet them at a specific location. Clients would have to commute. Maybe they would turn up late. These factors could impact the accountant’s work by delaying their schedule, which might annoy a different client so much that they switch accounting providers.

These problems are now a thing of the past and nowadays, clients and accountants can do a lot of their essential tasks remotely:

  • Clients can sign, edit or comment on critical financial documents online
  • Consultations can be hosted over a video call
  • Clients can access their financial data quickly and securely at anytime

Clients now have more access and transparency regarding their finances than ever before – resulting in more trust and confidence between the client and the accountant.  

  1. Mobile technology

Thanks to mobile technology, both accountants and clients can access whatever they need, whenever they need to. Mobile technology has been a game-changer for small businesses especially. With an app like Countingup, business owners can easily:

  • Create and send invoices easily and automatically
  • Manage receipts
  • Manage expenses
  • Monitor cash flow
  • Acquire signatures

Using this technology makes accounting so much more practical. Accountants can help their clients on the go and access any documents they need on their phone. In addition, clients can send their data to their accountants in just a few taps of a screen. 

  1. Social media marketing

Social media marketing has become an integral part of a lot of businesses looking to sell their services. Accounting is no different. Social media has become one of the best ways to:

  • Communicate with current and potential clients
  • Build brand awareness
  • Increases sales
  • Answer any questions customers may have

Of course, social media should be a prominent part of an accounting firm’s overall marketing strategy. You can learn more about developing a marketing strategy for your firm here

  1. Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning

Artificial intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) enhance computing abilities and take them to a whole new level. They let a system make predictions and adjustments, just like humans would. 

So what impact has AI and ML had on the accounting industry?

Businesses are implementing AI to streamline their accounting process, resulting in better productivity, greater accuracy and reduced costs. AI is beneficial when it comes to sorting through data as it can be identified and efficiently organised for the accountants. In addition, AI efficiently handles other tasks such as accounts payable and receivables. 

Chatbots are another form of AI that have become an integral part of a lot of businesses. They are a great way to answer any queries visitors to their website may have. Customers can get an answer almost instantly without having to phone your firm or wait for an email back, saving you both some valuable time. 

  1. Automation and RPA

Accounting firms are choosing to automate tedious, repetitive tasks using Robotic Process Automation (RPA). Embracing RPA lets firms optimise operations and processes, along with minimising human error and improving client relationships. 

A recent survey asked C-level executives what they thought of RPA: over 50% reported that they expect automated accounting systems to become the norm in the accounting industry. While there is a lot of scaremongering around automation, especially when it comes to accounting, you can and should be using it to help you. This is just one case where modern technology has changed the accounting industry and it makes every accountant’s job that much easier. 

The future of accounting

There is a lot of speculation about the future of accounting, such as will AI, ML and RPA take over? The short answer is no. This technology will empower accountants that embrace it. As we discussed above, it just means that accountants will be less like their “number crunching” stereotype and will be required to be more flexible in their roles. Accountants will be expected to advise, analyse and bring new ideas to the table. Technology is here to enhance, not replace your services.

Save time on small business client admin

You can save your practice hours of time on manual admin and help your sole trader and self-employed clients keep organised records with Countingup’s free accounting software

The software is MTD-compatible and full of features for accountants to review and manage client accounts efficiently, prepare journals and client taxes accurately with direct access to their real-time organised data. Find out more here.

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