Since we live in a world that has become increasingly data-driven, the nature of business has undergone transformations enabled by technological processes that have only recently sprung onto the scene. The challenge that accountants face is how to leverage technological changes to help businesses achieve their specific goals. With that being said, we thought it would be a good idea to take a look at the technological changes we could see accounting firms embrace this year.
This is an all-encompassing term referring to the revolution that has taken place in the accountant’s role which allows for real-time monitoring of a business’ financial matters. The largest impact from big data could be the introduction of unstructured data into the picture of financial analysis. Computers, for example, can now be programmed to purposefully process and analyse vast amounts of data and mine it or information that could be relevant to the financial standing of a business.
Some accountants see artificial intelligence as a potential threat to their future career prospects. This could be somewhat justified, but on the other hand, AI enables different businesses to make sense of the storm of financial data that they are generating. This allows accounting firms to streamline the accounting process by turning time-consuming, repetitive tasks over to a computer. This could then possibly leave our flesh-and-blood accountants with more time and opportunity to do what they will do best; deliver and formulate actionable insight to those who are tasked with steering the business.
Advances in computing
Letting AI loose on the handling of multiple mundane and repetitive accounting tasks, alongside mining natural language data, cannot happen unless the computing power involved in these trends significantly increases. This is exactly what it’s doing and will continue to do.
Edge computing, in which data analysis happens at the moment of data collection, is one of the most noticeable technological trends that we are seeing in the accounting world for 2022, and a strong example of an increase in computing power being put to practical use for accounting firms. Quantum computing will also make it possible to tame big data initiatives by providing analytical possibilities for accountants that dwarf those capable of being produced by traditionally created binary computers, in both speed and scope.
Because these virtual currencies have begun to make developments into the world of retail, this brings them into direct contact with accounting firms. Crypto is only made possible through the use of blockchain technology. A blockchain is a distributed ledger whose primary purpose is to store and record data accurately and securely. Blockchain technology can be utilised to ensure the integrity of any asset transfers and create smart contracts. Many people believe that the real progress here will begin when quantum computing methods are applied to crypto mining and other blockchain functions.
Robot Process Automation (RPA)
Robotic process automation, or RPA, takes the basic concept of the robot and starts applying it to accounting and finance. RPA is a form of software technology built to handle the multitude of repetitive tasks that can typically consume the attention of accounting firms. Freed from mundane responsibilities, accountants could be free to focus on delivering and formulating the most important, actionable insights that their firm needs.
Common functions of RPA include:
- Conducting research on competitors
- Interfacing of legacy systems with frontline systems
- Modifying and merging of multiple reports
- Searching across data with a targeted intent
- Detection of fraud
- Mortgage and credit card processing
Makinson & Co. are your local accountant team situated in the Forest of Dean. We have over 40 years’ experience in all tax matters, and work with small to medium sized companies in and around Gloucestershire. If you would like to know more information about what we do and how we can help, take a look at our website www.makinsonandco.co.uk or give us a call on 01594 842188 – we’d be happy to help!