What Lies Ahead for Accountants in 2020?

January 10th 2020 | Posted by Dave Cross

What Lies Ahead for Accountants in 2020?

What Lies Ahead for Accountants in 2020?

There is no doubt that technology will continue to play a significant role in the life of an accountant, during 2020. It has already started to transform processes in order to minimise the risk of error, as well as improving data analysis in the accounting process.

This will continue to happen. Accountants need to embrace the potential that technology can unlock and see developments as an opportunity rather than a threat.

Automation of accounting

Automating accounting processes helps to improve accuracy and consistency. It also enables companies to remove the need for a lot of human administrative intervention. However, there is still a need for a human presence, in order to ensure that automated systems are not compromised as a result of cyber fraud.

Some accountants may see increased automation as a threat to their role. In reality, automating systems allows accounting professionals to spend more time making accurate data driven decisions. There is simply no replacement for the judgement of an accountant.

Outsourcing of accounting

Outsourcing of the accounting process is not new. However, it’s growing in popularity and is no longer mainly undertaken by larger companies. Many smaller organisations are now seeing the value of reducing the cost of having in-house specialists in tax and payroll. The work is now frequently outsourced to specialist accounting firms which are more often becoming the choice of employment for accounting professionals.

The use of cloud-based technology

Cloud based computing is becoming the choice for many businesses. It gives organisations access to their accounting systems from anywhere in the world. It also saves on the investment in computing technology which is necessary for the automated accounting systems that have become commonplace.

The power of data analytics

As more accounting processes are becoming automated, the role of an accountant is changing. There are becoming advisors to the business, from an expert accounting viewpoint. This means that accountants need to have a deep understanding of the available data, in order to provide valuable insights.

Using data analytics in accounting is not new, but it now has a more powerful presence. As accountants become more orientated towards providing data backed business advice, they need to develop excellent data analysis skills.

These skills enable them to make sense of the big data which is now being used as an integral part of many accounting processes. The abilities that need to be acquired in order for accounting professionals to do this include visualisation, database analysis, data mining and data transformation.

The value of social media

As with many industries, the use of social media continues to be important to the accounting world, as we begin 2020. Accountants can use social media to increase brand awareness and promote their reputation and knowledge. In a competitive market place, this can be an important advantage.

Social media can also be used as a learning tool by accounting professionals. Following the latest news and articles on LinkedIn can provide valuable insight into what is happening in the world of accounting.

In summary

Technology is at the forefront of most of the developments that are affecting accountants at present. Professionals need to treat automation as an opportunity to step away from administration and into an increasingly advisory role. They also need to develop their analytical skills in order to optimise the use of big data in providing informed financial advice to companies.

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