The Future of Accounting
Every industry changes with time, and accounting is no different. With the rise of technology and artificial intelligence (AI) in accounting there are growing concerns that accounting could become redundant, but this is a highly unlikely scenario.
Accounting is a valuable profession, and it’s more likely to move with the times. That said, new technology and AI are bound to shape the future of accounting, and continue to impact the role of accountants, with most future trends reliant on technological shifts.
Here are 4 trends to keep an eye out for in the future of accounting and bookkeeping.
1. Technology will help rather than replace accountants
Alarmists are warning about the future of accounting jobs and predict the loss of accounting jobs to technology and AI. Accounting is just one of many industries which are predicted to be negatively affected by technology, with the potential for automation to remove the need for accountants altogether.
However, the future of accounting is likely to grow with cloud computing technology and AI intelligence, such as accounting software, that automates accounting tasks. Accountants will need to embrace technological advancements that can make their jobs easier, such as accounting software for accountants that keeps all their tools in one place.
Accounting software features to look out for are automation capabilities which can automate and streamline a wealth of accounting tasks and processes, including data entry, financial reporting, invoicing and managing expenses. These technologies are no threat to accountants and AI will not replace accountants, but instead lend a big helping hand.
The recent pandemic has also shown that accountants need to embrace technology trends that weave through all forms of work. For example, software that allows for flexible remote working such as cloud based accounting software that allows you to access your clients’ data in real-time.
2. New ways to manage data
Data management and protection are hot topics in the technology sector. Accountants handle sensitive financial information, which makes accounting firms a significant target for hackers and data breaches. Cybersecurity for accountants has become more important than ever.
Cloud accounting software
Many accounting firms are switching to a cloud or hybrid cloud approach when it comes to data storage, but without the proper security safeguards in place these systems pose their own risks. It’s therefore necessary for financial firms to invest in secure accounting software for accountants with solid data security measures that help keep their clients’ data safe such as QuickBooks Online Accountant. QuickBooks implements encryption technology, password protected logins, firewall protected servers, audit trails and always-on activity logs to ensure accounting data is stored securely in the cloud and safe from cybersecurity threats.
Furthermore, data management systems could make it easier to process and manage data. Automation can reduce the costs of manual labour, reduce error and improve accuracy while allowing human employees to focus their efforts on tasks that require advisory, creativity and collaboration, boosting overall efficiency
Artificial intelligence (AI) in accounting
AI and the future of accounting are likely to go hand in hand. While AI can render raw data, analyse it, and make it acceptable, it cannot replace many of the other tasks performed by accountants. By investing in smart AI, accounting firms can create a symbiotic relationship with technology so that AI and accountants support each other for the most efficient process possible.
Many accounting softwares now integrate with third party apps to further streamline and improve workflow and accounting processes. QuickBooks app library allows accountants and their clients to take advantage of technology and seamlessly integrate with over 500 apps to supercharge their current workflow.
Blockchain technology in accounting
Blockchain is a trend that is growing and one that accountants should be aware of. It has powerful accounting potential and is already being used in supply chain optimisation. It’s likely that accountants who are knowledgeable about blockchain will be in high demand soon.
Wave of the future: automation & AI
Accountants recognise the impact technology can have on the growth of their firms and are prioritising tech investments to move their businesses forward. Nearly half expect to invest in and adopt automation tools (48%), artificial intelligence (AI) (48%), and blockchain technology (47%) over the next 12 months.
3. Shift from outsourcing to inhouse training and upskilling
As the gap closes between developed and developing nations, it’s likely that fewer firms will outsource their work overseas. It is no longer much cheaper to do so, and the gap continues to narrow. The future of accounting is therefore looking up, as many more businesses are leaning on local firms or multinational accounting firms with a local presence.
Becoming QuickBooks certified is a great way to secure accounting jobs in the future as it is a desirable qualification for employers looking to hire accountants with expertise in cloud accounting software. QuickBooks offers 24/7 access to self paced training to get you certified.
4. Focus on employee satisfaction
A broader general trend is that firms are looking to improve employee satisfaction. One product of the pandemic was a restlessness among employees, who re-evaluated their priorities and chose to change careers into something that made them happier. A huge deciding factor for job seekers is employee satisfaction.
Remote work could also be a factor, with many employees now seeking the possibility of flexible work arrangements. In a survey conducted in Australia in June 2022, over 50% of respondents said they would consider working remotely permanently.
So, if accounting firms want to attract new employees and retain experienced ones, they will have to adapt to the new style of working. Prioritising employee health and well-being is essential to the future of accounting.
Why do accountants need to stay ahead of trends?
The accounting industry will always be subject to change, as will every other sector. Accounting and bookkeeping firms will need to stay ahead of the curve if they want to succeed. The best firms are on top of current and future trends, and that’s why they attract the best clients.
Profitable accounting clients will take their business to firms with the latest technology and businesses that care for the wellbeing of society. You will often find that accounting clients like to work with firms that share the same values.
Adapting and being agile is also necessary if you want to attract top talent. Millennials and generation Z entering the workforce, have certain expectations from their employers. Firms that stay behind the times will find it increasingly difficult to attract the best talent.
If you want to know how to prepare for the future of accounting, be sure to stay up-to-date with recent shifts in business trends and access top websites and podcasts in the accounting field. You can also conduct frequent market research to see what your competitors are doing.
The best thing accountants can do right now is to embrace new technology, rather than fear it. Accounting firms that don’t adapt to the new climate will find themselves struggling. On the other hand, those that are poised to take on new challenges will thrive in this highly competitive industry.
As more firms take on AI and automation processes, the role of an accountant is likely to change. AI can automate administrative tasks, leaving employees with more time to focus on collaboration, communication, and creativity – things that machine learning has not yet mastered. Accountants will likely turn to advisory services, offering consultations and leveraging the data produced by AIs to formulate valuable insights for their clients to help them make better business decisions.
Parts of accounting have become automated thanks to accounting software for accountants. This automation helps accountants be more efficient and improves productivity. It’s unlikely that the whole profession will become automated any time soon, but minor administrative tasks and data handling are already being automated through technology, meaning accountants will have more time to focus on more important tasks or projects.
There are several sources to consult to see recent trends in accounting. Regulations can vary depending on your location, so check the local government website frequently for changes. You can also sign up for accounting conferences and seminars, follow industry leaders and check out journals and articles.
Current forecasts suggest that AI is one of the primary trends in accounting, with numerous firms automating parts of their process with accounting software. AI can improve efficiency and help you analyze data, while employees focus on other tasks such as advisory services. Other trends include a move toward employee wellbeing and remote working, alongside less outsourcing to developing nations.
AI is designed to lend a helping hand to accountants by automating accounting tasks and processes such as invoicing, reporting and managing expenses, and is therefore unlikely to replace accountants. Instead, AI aims to streamline workflow and improve efficiency for accountants.
Information may be abridged and therefore incomplete. This document/information does not constitute, and should not be considered a substitute for, legal or financial advice. Each financial situation is different, the advice provided is intended to be general. Please contact your financial or legal advisors for information specific to your situation.