The age-old art of accounting is seeing continual modernisation in alignment with today’s fast-evolving digital society. The bookkeeping industry once swimming in paper ledgers has been transformed with the introduction of automation and digital technology, improving the speed and accuracy of routine processes.
In fact, technology literacy is believed to be the most critical additional skill for future employees in the field, according to research by Sage. The drive for the adoption of modern technology means that many organisations will need to embrace change and prepare for what’s ahead.
As we move into 2023, we’ve listed the top trends we believe could continue to shape the future of the accounting industry.
Contrary to the fears of some people in the financial sector, automation is not here to replace the jobs of real-life accountants. In reality, it can actually make their lives easier. Automation and AI can relieve accountants of typically time-consuming, mundane tasks such as data entry, audits, and expense management, allowing them to focus on higher-value accounting priorities.
AI can also help accounting teams to streamline existing processes and improve accuracy, as well as identify fraud more efficiently through the use of data reporting - maximising ROI. A report by Vanguard Systems found that automation software pays for itself within 6 to 18 months.
As automated processes will continue to save time and money, accountants will have time to focus on providing strategic, accurate advice and insights, in turn improving client relationships.
Cloud accounting is on the rise, with the cloud accounting software market expected to reach $4320 million by 2024.
Cloud technology can improve the safety of storing confidential information, and provides 24/7 accessibility allowing accountants to access records and receipts on-the-go. By adopting the cloud, accounting teams can also improve collaboration by enabling multiple people to view and edit documents at the same time.
When it comes to agility and flexibility, cloud accounting enables businesses to scale operations up or down depending on their needs, providing the means for business growth.
While blockchain is a relatively new technology which is still in the investigative phase within the accounting world, it has the potential to totally transform the industry. The fundamental role of blockchain is to maintain a ledger of financial information and transfer the ownership of assets in an accurate, secure and traceable manner.
Blockchain makes it nearly impossible to alter transactions via prohibited or unauthorised means, providing peace of mind and confidence to accounting teams and beyond.
Offering speed, transparency, data security and auditing standardisation, it’s no wonder that 88% of senior executives believe that blockchain technology will eventually achieve mainstream adoption.
Data has always been at the core of accounting, so the continued growth of Big Data will inevitably help accounting firms deliver more accurate data-driven audits and provide first-rate knowledge.
Through the use of Big Data, accountants have the ability to utilise large amounts of data and turn it into insights. This allows them to see correlations that might otherwise be missed, then predict future financial consequences and deliver expert analysis and guidance.
A survey by ACCA and IMA found that 62% of companies globally cited big data as hugely important to the future of business. Backed by big data, accounting teams can confidently focus on delivering crucial planning, risk analysis, and spot potential blockers before they arise.