Accounting in the age of trends: The future of the profession

Posted by Angelica Garcia
Nov 03, 2023
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From automated bookkeeping software to artificial intelligence, technology is transforming how accountants work. However, these advancements have also raised questions, what will be the future of the accounting profession and how will the role of accountants evolve in light of these technological advancements? 

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In this blog, we will discuss the trends in the accounting profession, how technology has changed the professional landscape, and how accountants can adapt to the future of the accounting profession. 


Trends in the accounting profession 

1. Automation and Artificial Intelligence (AI)

As the years goes by, advancements in automation and AI have significantly impacted the accounting profession. Automation technologies now have the ability to eliminate almost 43%  of the current accounting activities, according to a McKinsey analysis. True enough, operations like data entry, reconciliation, and financial reporting can now be automated. This reduces the possibility of human error while also saving accountants' significant time.   


2.Cloud Computing 

Another significant trend in the accounting profession is the use of cloud-based accounting software. Gone are the days of manual backups and physical storage, as a result, it revolutionized the way accounting professionals store, manage, and access financial data.  


In addition, according to Sage UK, 67% of accountants prefer cloud accounting and believe that this trend in technology makes their businesses more successful. In fact, cloud-based accounting software allows for real-time collaboration, easy accessibility from any device, and enhanced data security, which also help accountants to enhance their job evenly.  


3.Data Analytics and Business Intelligence 

The abundance of financial data generated by businesses has created a demand for data analytics and business intelligence tools in the accounting profession. Accountants can now leverage powerful software to analyze large datasets, identify trends, and make informed decisions. 


This data-driven approach enhances financial forecasting, risk management, and strategic planning. By embracing data analytics, accountants can identify areas of inefficiency, optimize budgets, and provide valuable insights for strategic decision-making. 


Read: The Impact AI: How Technology is Transforming Accounting Profession 


4. Mobile Accounting

Mobile technology has revolutionized the accounting industry, allowing accounting professionals to access financial data and perform tasks on the go. In addition, mobile accounting apps enable professionals to view financial reports, approve transactions, and communicate with clients conveniently from their smartphones or tablets. This flexibility enhances productivity and responsiveness, especially for accounting professionals serving global clients across different time zones. 


How accountants have benefitted from the use of accounting tech?

As we discuss the trends in the accounting profession, it is also important to know and discuss how these technology trends changed the profession. Below are the changes in the profession: 


1. Improved Accuracy

Automated software significantly reduces the risk of accounting professionals making human errors and mistakes. With technology handling repetitive tasks, the chances of mistakes and miscalculations are minimized, leading to more accurate financial reporting that will help them to have a good reputation in the industry. 


2. Enhanced Data Security

Cloud-based accounting software offers robust security measures to protect sensitive financial information that can assist accounting professionals in handling sensitive data. In addition, data encryption, regular backups, and multi-factor authentication ensure that client data is secure from cyber threats.  


3. Real-time Reporting

Technology allows for real-time reporting and analysis, providing accountants and their clients with up-to-date financial information. This enables faster decision-making and better financial planning. 


How can accountants adapt to the future of the accounting profession? 

As technology continues to reshape the accounting profession, accountants must and should take proactive steps to thrive in the age of tech. Below are the things accountants must do: 


1. Expand their Skill Sets

As the accounting profession evolves, accountants need to expand their skill sets beyond traditional bookkeeping and taxation. Developing expertise in data analytics, financial forecasting, and strategic advisory services will enable accountants to offer more value to their clients. In addition, continuous professional development and staying updated with industry trends are crucial to stay relevant in a technology-driven profession. 


2.Enhance Communication and Soft Skills 

As technology automates certain tasks, the role of accounting professional is more important than ever to enhance their communication. Doing this will help them to be really effective in written and verbal communication, and the ability to work collaboratively with their clients. 


Read Next: How to Future-Proof Your Career: 5 Tips for the Modern Accountant 


3. Stay Updated with Regulatory Changes

The accounting profession is subject to ever-changing regulations and compliance requirements. Accountants must stay updated with these changes to ensure their clients' financial statements and tax returns are accurate and compliant.  


In addition, attending regular training and industry conferences, and leveraging reputable resources, are essential for staying ahead of regulatory changes. These efforts can also provide valuable insights and opportunities to connect with industry experts. 


The Bottom Line 

Remember, information is the key, and staying updated with the latest trends is crucial for the success of an accounting professional. In addition, by embracing these strategies, accountants can future proof their careers and thrive in todays technology-driven industry. 


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