The role of technology in accounting: trends and opportunities

6 min read

Modern accounting refers to the transformation of traditional accounting practices by incorporating modern technologies and processes to automate routine tasks and improve the efficiency of the accounting process. Cloud computing, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML) and real-time integration are a few emerging accounting technology trends.
The goal here is not to change the underlying accounting concepts but to streamline their application by optimising how information is recorded, processed and verified. This greatly reduces the manual effort needed in accounting and maximises its accuracy.

Emerging accounting technology trends

From the abacus to the calculator to spreadsheets to digital accounting software, aids to accounting have come a long way. If your business is looking to accelerate its accounting function in a rapidly evolving tech world, you should stay abreast of the following trends:

1. Blockchain

Blockchain involves a computer-based, user-to-user network primarily used for cryptocurrencies but is also gaining interest as a potential accounting method. The idea is to create a completely secure accounting system that can be updated regularly by your accounting team without any fear of breaches.
While still in its early stages, blockchain has the potential to transform accounting by offering secure, transparent, and efficient ways to record transactions. 

You should keep an eye on developments in this area and be prepared to adapt as the technology matures.

2. Automation

Thanks to AI, labour-intensive tasks can be automated and completed within seconds. From reconciling bank transactions to running payroll to preparing tax documents to audits, modern accounting tools can handle it all and leave your accounting team free to take on the more analytical tasks that require human insights.
Moreover, automation ensures that these tasks are executed on time and free of errors, thus enabling these to run in the background without extra intervention.

3. Cloud computing

Cloud-based accounting software has become increasingly popular due to its accessibility, cost-effectiveness, and ease of use. It allows you to access financial data in real-time from any location and thus practise continuous monitoring rather than only sporadic assessments.

4. Integrated reporting

The demand for integrated reporting is growing as businesses and investors seek a more comprehensive view of a company’s performance, including financial metrics and social, environmental, and governance factors.

5. Streamlined interactions

Virtual meetings became the norm during the pandemic, and even now, they offer an easy, hassle-free way for your accounting team to interact with departments, vendors, and other stakeholders whenever they need to, without the trouble of commuting. Virtual meeting tools also make it easy to record the meeting and its transcript for later reference.


6. Outsourced accounting services

With recession being so dominant in people’s lives, an unstable economy and ChatGPT gunning for many jobs, it is not surprising to see many businesses choosing to outsource their accounting functions to specialised firms to reduce costs, improve efficiency, and gain access to a talent pool that may not be available in-house. Technological developments have delivered improved security and accessibility to make this a seamless operation.

7. Sustainability and environmental, social, and governance (ESG) reporting

ESG performance and reporting is another aspect driven by investor interest and regulatory requirements. Your accounting team can be crucial in verifying and validating ESG data, helping you understand your impact and developing strategies to improve sustainability.

How the role of your accountant will change

Contrary to what naysayers might have you think, technology will not replace human accountants. What will happen is that the accountant’s role will shift away from purely executive tasks to more strategic ones, where critical thinking and human insight are required. Here is how the role of your accountant will change:

1. Cloud-based accounting expertise

More and more businesses are shifting their data to the cloud, so accountants need to know how to pull data from the cloud for real-time financial analyses.
As your business increasingly relies on data-driven decision-making, your accounting must develop strong analytical skills to interpret and present financial data effectively. They must go beyond traditional financial metrics and incorporate non-financial data to provide a holistic business view – just as Golding Accountancy does!

2. Data mining and data visualisations

Your accounting team has a massive opportunity to serve as your strategic advisor by identifying patterns by applying data science techniques and then making forecasts. This requires a solid understanding of advanced analytics, something worth investing in with the extra time that is no longer spent on manual activities.

3. Emphasis on advisory services

With things like tax filing or bookkeeping being largely outsourced to technology, your accounting team can offer more valuable strategic advice to the client. Personalised guidance on expanding and growing as a business, regardless of technology, will require a human with on-ground experience to offer insights based on market trends and historical data.

Your team can prepare for this by studying what your business does and what not-so-obvious opportunities might be available to it. In a nutshell, think of your accountant as a strategic partner.

Over to you
Technological development will only pick up speed, and its impact across industries will be tremendous. Your accounting team will need to invest in upskilling itself. The good news is that leading modern accounting tools are easy to learn and apply, which means they can upgrade even with little exposure to technology.
Moreover, critical thinking, industry experience, and strategic skills will always matter regardless of technology. We understand that managing a business can be challenging and sometimes feel like an uphill battle.
But remember, you are pursuing your dream, and having a reliable accountant by your side can make all the difference when it comes to getting sound advice when needed.
For Golding Accountancy, accounting goes beyond mere data; it is an opportunity to uncover and interpret the narrative hidden within the numbers. When you join hands with us, we ensure you have the best possible support for your business journey. Contact us today to learn how we can support your business in accounting and tax services.
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