Which areas of accountancy will become automated?

May 8th 2019 | Posted by Dave Cross

Which areas of accountancy will become automated?

Which areas of accountancy will become automated?

Just like everything else, information technology has transformed and is continuing to transform the field of accountancy.

The coming times will feature accounting practices that will require minimal data entry. But that is not all that IT and specifically artificial intelligence (AI) is going to do for the field of accountancy.

While an accountant enjoys a good night’s sleep, AI will be sorting out the next workday for them and prioritising what needs to be done. Useful client insights will be provided that will totally redefine the role of bookkeepers and accountants. This will make their jobs a lot more lucrative while their value for clients will also increase significantly.

However, only those who are willing to adapt will be able to reap the benefits and enjoy a rewarding future. Here, we will discuss some of the ways the accountancy profession will be changed by automation

Traditional bookkeeping

Traditional ways of data entry for the purpose of bookkeeping have almost been eliminated with the arrival of cloud computing systems and resultant automation. The days of manually punching in the bills and printing paper checks are going to be history soon enough. Cloud accounting apps have made the whole process a lot more efficient and a lot less time-consuming.

In fact, cloud accounting software has cut bookkeeping time in half by automating almost 90% of the transactions. With the arrival of artificial intelligence, even the need to configure them will vanish in the future. More and more accountants as well as business owners will start to expect their chosen accounting software to deliver a much superior experience for them.

According to research, about a third of the owners of small and medium-sized businesses now believe that the automation that is provided by accountancy software allows them to complete many tasks on their own.

Data collection

While automation in accounting is likely to take over many tasks for which accountants actually bill their clients today, technology is not going to replace the human element completely. Judgement will still be needed. Automation will just make data collection extremely simple and enable accountants to make faster decisions. But there won’t be a total replacement of humans.

Look at it this way. Simply figuring out which client’s work has to be done on any given day is a challenge for the accounting team. This is where automation is making a huge difference and giving the accountants time to focus on other more value-adding activities.

Other than automating transactions, cloud accounting systems are also moving towards analysis. As machine learning gets incorporated more and more into the accounting systems, finance and accounting systems will have access to unprecedented insights about their clients which will help them make better decisions.

How might an accountant’s job change?

With so much data coming into elegantly designed dashboards for various types of clients, compliance routines will either become “limited-touch” or “no-touch” in the future. While accountants won’t be able to bill clients for the routine tasks any longer, they will have a lot more time to find other ways in which more value could be provided to the clients.

There has to be proper management of all the integrated accounting setups as well as accurate interpretation of the output. This is what the new role of accountants and bookkeepers will include a lot more.

In particular, bookkeepers will now have to perform more like “information system managers.” These will be professionals having unmatched understanding and knowledge of the cloud accounting ecosystem as well as the expertise to create systems using different interlinked applications.

The flow of information between the reporting tools and the apps will be overseen by these “information managers” so that clients stay in control of both their data and their money.

Automation and accounting will continue to be linked in the future. This connection will allow accountants to get their heads out of tedious general ledgers and give good professional advice to their clients.

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