5 Technologies that are Impacting Accounting Careers

by Klaus on May 17, 2019

in Articles

Accounting has been affected by technology ever since they rolled out adding machines and calculators. Spreadsheets and computers were another productivity revolution, something that has continued with software programs. Yet technology hasn’t stopped altering the way accountants do their jobs or the profession as a whole. Here are five technologies that are impacting accounting careers. We’ll also explain how they affect the profession today and their long-term influence on accounting.

Advances in Accounting Software

As software has sped up the process of entering information and analyzing it, if not eliminating the need to manually enter records at all, accountants spend less time maintaining the books. Instead, they’re having to apply critical thinking and their expertise to help their clients plan ahead. Accountants increasingly act as business advisors to their clients, whether it is tax planning, budgeting or estate planning. The role of the accountant will move further into proactive and long-range planning as artificial intelligence takes on more repetitive and increasingly complex tasks. This forces accountants to master soft skills and provide more value to their clients.

Online Education

Online education has become mainstream. Online learning now allows you to earn a bachelor’s degree or master’s degree from home and on your schedule. It also makes it possible to earn specialized degrees necessary to work in various areas like estate planning that may not be available in your area.

Courses like the Suffolk University Online MBA in Accounting will teach you everything you need to know to take the CPA or CMA exam. It also provides a strong foundation for running your own small business or accounting practice. You can take the courses that qualify you to become a management accountant doing capital budgeting or governmental accounting. This will take your career to the next level.

Cloud Accounting

Cloud accounting is a combination of cloud computing and financial software. It affects the profession in a number of ways. It allows you to access data and familiar software applications from any location. You can consult with your client about their books at their place of business, yours, or the local coffee shop. It allows you to share reports and data with clients without having to meet in person to review the literal books. Furthermore, mobile accounting gives clients the ability to remain connected to their accountants, allowing them to create expense claims, add receipts and send invoices from their mobile devices while all data is saved to the cloud.

It also lets accountants connect with clients anywhere. This means that an accountant in an area with a low cost of living can offer their services to clients in the more expensive urban area. Furthermore, clients can outsource work to accountants in lower cost jurisdictions almost anywhere in the world as long as they have the requisite knowledge. Working from home becomes much easier, and it could allow accountants to continue working while traveling for work or pleasure. It makes it possible for accountants to outsource work to individuals in lower cost parts of the world, and it allows you to connect with diverse, global talent pools to find the answers your clients need.

Cloud computing has made mobile accounting possible. There is not a universal definition of this, but it is demonstrated in clients accessing financial reports and inputting information via apps on their phones and tablets. Accountants could become consultants helping their clients successfully roll out these tools to their employees, advising them on the functions the mobile accounting tools need to provide, recommending solutions, training people in their use and then overseeing its implementation.

Social Media

Social media is a valuable sales and marketing platform. It allows individual accountants and financial consultants to connect with clients. It offers a high return on the investment relative to traditional marketing. This is why social media should be part of any accounting firms’ business development strategy.

Blockchain

Cryptocurrencies get all the attention, but it is the blockchain or distributed ledger technology that is poised to eradicate traditional double-entry bookkeeping. Blockchain allows transactions to be recorded to the cloud in an ultra-secure and transparent manner. This has a number of implications. One would be the elimination of quarterly audits for publicly traded funds. Anyone can run the reports at any time. It could be used to manage financial trading and lending. This area is just starting to take off, and the opportunities for accounting students who learn about it are innumerable.

Conclusion

Accountants have to stay abreast of the rapid changes in accounting technology if they want to remain relevant. This means adapting as necessary to meet the needs of your business and the expectations of your clients.

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