The Changing Role of Accounting

By Kent Heele posted 07-04-2019 03:53 AM


Evolving technology has had a number of different implications to all professions the world over, and accounting is one of them. With the rise of new technologies such as deep learning, the foundational aspect of machine learning, more professionals fear that disruption is inevitable.

The constant signaling that automation will change the industry and put accountants out of the job is everywhere. However, it's closer to the reality that these new technologies serve to enable accounting, streamline the practice and evolve the job into something more concrete.

This will require the new age accountant to be equipped with ever more relevant skills in what's an evolving profession.

New technology in accounting

Machine learning software operates such that it's able to learn from past financial data and attempt to predict outcomes from current data. It's a powerful tool that can be used by professionals to improve the financial gain of a company.

A new, prospective technology that may also have lasting implications in the future is blockchain. The hype around it is for some reason, mainly because it allows transactions to be tracked and recorded in a shared ledger for easy tracking. Therefore, it has great potential for preventing fraud and money laundering.

Taking advantage of better, faster technology has also resulted in the emergence of cloud accounting. Rather than having traditional products hosted on different office machines, they reside in servers all over the globe. This makes them accessible on any device at any time, as long as it's connected to the internet.

The growth of these technologies demands accountants with the ability to read and understand the kind of data that result from it. Further, the ability to work with the information that is gained from the processing and analysis of this data will also be highly sought-after.

Diversified roles

Administrative tasks that would have previously required human intervention no longer need to be done with human intervention thanks to the emerging technologies. With most aspects of book-keeping such as entry and data collection being automated, accountants will have a more central role as business drivers for their companies.

This will thus give accountants new opportunities to get involved in other areas of business management that would have otherwise been closed to them.

They will be required to develop business strategies and plans and other business-oriented roles that are project-based. With the growing demand of these skills, there’s a need for accountants to equip themselves with project management professional training.

The emergence of new sectors

The growth of these new technologies has resulted in the growth of whole new industries in the financial sector. Fintech is a relatively new field that merges Finance and Technology, for instance, that is providing people equipped with digital skills with new opportunities in the industry.

In combination with new software that implements all the principles outlined above, the data can be interpreted and used to their advantage.

This goes hand in hand with automation technology that has allowed fintech to spread its roots as far as retail banking, nonprofit organizations, investment management and education. Data collection and entry doesn't need to be a human-intensive task as it once was.

Greater client focus

Clients and accountants are now closer than ever due to cloud computing. It enables real-time collaboration between the client and accountant, allowing for more frequent insights into their business performance and insights.

Client expectations have changed due to the new technologies and the accountancy profession has to evolve to adapt to the change. New services and skills are needed to help clients beyond just the traditional numbers.