The State of Cloud Accounting: 2016 Predictions

We’re rounding out our 4 part series on the 2015 state of cloud accounting with a look ahead to 2016. We previously covered the banking, software, and security innovations that happened, but what does each area look like moving forward? While we aren’t claiming to be fortune tellers, we sense exciting changes ahead for the new year!

It’s no secret that at Abacus we talk a lot about the importance of finance transitioning into a more strategic pillar of business. As we head into 2016, it’s obvious that the root of that transition is in the data that finance holds. Our predictions for 2016 are centered around data and embracing the new value that finance can bring to the table.

Banking

The move towards open API’s that started in 2015 will continue with more banks dipping their toes in the proverbial water. This will be a slow and ongoing shift, but an important one. As more banks start to allow access to data, the more innovative the fintech space will become.

We will probably also see a few new banks continue to pop up like Seed which have a distinct focus on data transparency for both their customers and integrated software applications.

Software

The key for 2016 will be more integrations between systems in your cloud accounting stack in order to fill the obligation for on-demand reporting. This will be an important shift from spending time reconciling data at the end of each month, to become a piece of the businesses strategic core. Third party systems like Zapier and IFTTT will help increase the adaption and flexibility of these integrations.

More systems will start to utilize existing tools and technology in new and innovative ways to start creating smarter software. Using tools like geolocation and remembering last or similar entered data patterns will help speed up data entry and reconciliation. For example, presetting a currency based on your location, or remembering what category you selected the last time you entered a similar transaction.

There will also start to be a large shift towards real time data. This will be critical to finance being able to move at the speed of business. Being able to capture a snapshot of your business finances at a moment in time will become a key strategic component for making better business decisions.

Security

Overall, 2016 needs to give finance teams more transparency around data ownership if they expect a higher adoption rate. This will become a hot button issue as more risk-adverse companies start to consider cloud accounting.

Another big problem that might not be addressed in 2016 but should be on the radar, is combating data loss from accidental deletion and user error. Built in protection from this is one of the most common misconceptions about cloud applications across the board. Some enterprise cloud-based applications such as Google Apps for Business, Box, and others have solutions available either internally or through third party cloud-to-cloud backup systems. With finance data being so valuable to an organization, it is likely that similar solutions will come to light for cloud-based systems of record for finance data.

Overall, in 2016 finance will need to focus on providing more strategic value to businesses and spend less time on data management and reconciliation between systems.

Future of #CloudAccounting — 2016 predictions for the #ModernCFO https://t.co/GyRsN5oGzQ
— Abacus (@abacus) October 28, 2015

Originally published at blog.abacus.com on October 21, 2015.

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