Accounting Technologies

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Accountants need to stay up to date with technological advances in order to respond to market conditions and their clients’ needs. Technological innovations have led the way, establishing how accounting is done nowadays. Digital resources and online tools help improve productivity and organization.

Now, we can find advanced technology to help streamline accounting processes and management of books of accounts.

How does technology impact accounting?

The biggest impact IT has made on accounting is enabling companies to develop and use computerized systems to track and record financial transactions. This system allows companies to create individual reports quickly and easily, enabling management to make decisions faster, using up-to-date information.

There are many applications of modern technology in accounting. Out of the many available options, in this blog we summarize the five types of accounting technologies that are currently transforming the accounting industry:

  1. Artificial Intelligence & Robotics

    In simple terms, Artificial intelligence (AI) is the ability of a computer or a robot controlled by a computer to do tasks that are usually done by humans because they require human intelligence and discernment.

  2. Cloud Computing

    Cloud computing accounting software is accounting software that is hosted on remote servers. It provides accounting capabilities to businesses in a fashion similar to the SaaS (Software as a Service) business model. Data is sent into “the cloud“, where it is processed and returned to the user.

    A Simple Advantage
    This opens up a new way for accountants to work with their clients. Using cloud accounting, there is more time to engage with the client and focus on business strategy instead of getting burdened with detailed processes.

    Difference between Traditional Accounting and Cloud Computing?
    Traditional Accounting Software comes with initial infrastructure costs as well as maintenance costs of on-site software and hardware.

    Cloud computing, on the other hand, provides a software function without large upfront costs or licensing fees.

  3. Innovations in Tax Software

    An innovation is defined as the process of translating an idea or invention into a good or service that creates value or for which customers will pay. To be called an innovation, an idea must be replicable at an economical cost and must satisfy a specific need.

    Tax preparation software is an online, automated system for preparing individual and business income taxes. It’s used by both tax preparation businesses, like CPA’s(Certified Public Accountant), and individual taxpayers who prefer to do their own returns. It eliminates the need for the taxpayer to complete his or her return using actual forms.

    The tax software of today has helped improve accuracy while reducing margins of error – something businesses want to embrace in order to avoid tax penalties and prevent issues with stakeholders. Better tax software also helps streamline audits by making them more efficient and effective.

  4. Mobile Accounting

    Mobile accounting is the ability to access and process accounting information, which could be data, applications, etc. over devices that are not restricted by physical locations.

    Mobile accounting could mean different things to different people and businesses, so the first step in a successful rollout is defining what it means to you and your company. For example, consider who the users will be and what they will be using it for. Think about the different functions you’d want your mobile accounting and financial solution to cover.”

  5. Social Media

    Social media has become an essential tool for firms wanting to engage with current and potential clients while expanding their brand reach. Social media is a tool that will continue to evolve and provide accountants with a valuable sales and marketing platform that can instantly connect firms to current and future clients.

    Most accounting firms understand the importance of implementing traditional marketing into their overall business development plans, but many firms may not realize the power of integrating social media marketing into their long-term marketing strategies.

    Social media should be a part of a firm’s overall business development strategy, and if done consistently, will help amplify the effectiveness of all other marketing and business development efforts.

9 KEY POINTS TO BECOMING A PROACTIVE ACCOUNTANT

As a business owner we often feel if we had that something extra, something better and something clearer to take an informed decision. And that ‘SOMETHING’ often depends on the proactive approach from your Accountant. As a business owner and as a Chartered Accountant, I understand the limitations that we come across at both ends.

Our profession advocates a constant training to be provided not only for technical aspects but also for strong interpersonal skills, organisational competence and intellectual ability. So what are these characteristics? What makes someone stand out?

Here are 9 points that I think is important to understand the responsibility of a Proactive Accountant:

1. Stay updated all the time

Accountants must constantly stay up to date with the profession. Attending refreshers, going to conferences/ seminars and in house training is a must. Technological advancements are also evolving at a furious pace, so these also must be kept up with. Continual personal development is a must, not an option!


2. Story behind the numbers : The Bigger Picture

Providing a data generated report is easy. Staying on top of all the figures and paperwork is more important. At the very least, they need to understand where these numbers are coming from and what does it mean for the business. Good accountants will have a much shorter list of targeted questions that are developed specifically to aid their understanding which allows them to focus on the big picture.


3. Importance of Time

Every business needs management reports at regular intervals if not at real time. If these reports come after 2 months, it is like a post mortem report – you can read through it but cannot change anything.


4. Inter-dependability and Accountability at each level

It is important to make every effort to do the right thing. Every process in an organisation is linked to Accounts Department somehow. Accountants need to have exceptionally well people skills as they typically work in coordination with different departments within an organisation. They have the opportunity to work with different types of professionals and personalities. Therefore, they are required to be
generous with what they know; sensitive to other’s needs and be supportive of their team’s goals. We all succeed when we work together as a Team.


5. Decision making, critical reasoning & analytical ability

Business owners want their accountants to be strong and helpful in decision making, however decision making can be hard. There is always a tendency to put off decisions by procrastinating and concluding that you need more information, only to later conclude that you need even more information. A good accountant should always determine what is relevant and what is not.


6. Trust factor

The information that accountants work with is highly confidential in nature. This is why trust and professionalism are important traits that they must always abide by. Not only is this the right and ethical way to go about their businesses but having a reputation for trustworthiness will win plaudits in the long run. I firmly believe that we trade on our knowledge and ability, but we only get these opportunities through
demonstrating our commitment to client confidentiality.


7. Solutions seeker, not fault finders

Great leaders have the desire to help others succeed. Don’t find faults in the system, find a solution that helps the organisation to overcome an obstacle. Leadership characteristics can be taught but leadership must be exhibited day in and day out.


8. Commitment

Companies are looking for motivated, dedicated individuals for long-term employment. There is no short-term solution, neither for business owners nor for an Accountant.


9. Enjoy what you do

This last one might appear strange, but I firmly believe that we all need to enjoy what we are doing. There is no fun in 9-6 job unless you have a good working environment, surrounded by people who are happy and joyful. Work takes up so much of our time and it is in my opinion that mere monetary rewards will not keep someone in a career they do not enjoy. Whilst no one should expect to be smiling all day, every day it is important we have some fun along the way.

The characteristics of a proactive accountant starts with the basics of sound technical ability and solid ethical foundation. These are considered as a baseline and the Accountant needs to grow beyond the “rules and regulations” mind-set of our profession. Attaining and maintaining the characteristics mentioned above require a personal commitment but are crucial to the accountant’s long-term success. Have you got what is takes to be a good accountant?