3 Technology Trends Transforming The Accounting Industry

The accounting field is on the verge of disruption due to evolving technology. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) is projecting an 11 percent growth for accountant jobs through 2024, a faster-than-average growth in demand for this skill set. However, individuals in accounting and related fields are facing the challenge of learning how to integrate new & future technologies into current processes and work flows.
 
 Research by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) predicts that when it comes to technology, the biggest change will be the rise of intelligent technology (with increased globalization and more regulatory requirements also contributing to the evolution of the accounting sector). 
 
 As accounting firms and professionals navigate the changing nature of the field, adopting smart technology and incorporating it into every day workflows will be the key to staying ahead of competitors and becoming the accounting firms of the future.
 
 The three most impactful accounting tech trends that will evolve the profession over the next eight years are:

  1. Cloud-Based Apps
  2. Workflow Automation
  3. Data Visualisation

1. Cloud-Based Apps

The rapid growth of cloud-based apps such as Ibiza Software, QuickBooks, Xero, among others, has given accounting firms the freedom to custom-design their own technology stack around client needs via their APIs and marketplaces. Capterra’s Andrew Marder points to numerous benefits associated with cloud-based tech for this space, including ubiquitous, on-demand data access, less software upkeep, and the benefit of superior data security.
 
 Closely tied to the concept of cloud-based app growth is increased decentralization of accounting tech. Huge, bulky enterprise systems designed to meet end-to-end accounting needs are out, and a series of lightweight apps that can share data is in. In a world where tomorrow’s regulatory requirements could be even steeper, the ability to design a tech solution with multiple apps around client needs could be a massive benefit.

2. Workflow Automation

There’s long been pressure on accounting firms to be more efficient and effective. Technologies for workflow automation are enabling firms to get more done without sacrificing quality or attention to detail in the process.
 Workflow automation tech enables firms to go paperless and take advantage of the cloud for internal transparency while reducing the margin of error for human-caused mistakes. Workflow automation tech may not be new, but firms that learn to use it in innovative ways could position themselves for rapid growth.

3. Data Visualization

Accountants have long been well-acquainted with Excel and other spreadsheet-based tools for visualizing client data and performing sophisticated analyses. While graphs and pivot tables are an important means of communicating complex information visually, the format’s riddled with potential issues, including the fact that spreadsheet data is so easily corrupted, and the possibility for human error is high. 
 
 With smarter tools for accounting firm data visualization, it’s possible to unlock high-quality, accurate data intelligence fast. Firms that adopt dashboard automation to communicate financial insights could be positioned to enjoy superior B2B client relationships. Better yet, today’s machine learning-based platforms for financial data visualization are cloud-based and delivered via software-as-a-service (SaaS) models, giving your accountants the freedom to create on-demand visualizations of receivables, administrative costs and other need-to-know data in real time.

Looking to the Future of Accounting Technology

As the accounting field evolves and changes, a few things are certain. Tomorrow’s most successful accounting firms are likely to be those that leverage data visualization, cloud-based and SaaS technologies, as well as machine learning, in a way that improves client relationships, grows their business, and provides them a competitive edge in client satisfaction. 
 
 SaaS apps such as Vizmatch for dashboard automation represents the competitive edge of tomorrow’s accounting firms. Instead of relying on slow-moving, hard-to-use systems that cover accounting end-to-end, or mind-numbing rows of Excel, with Vizmatch, accountants will have on-demand, customizable, data visualization with the power of machine learning at their fingertips 
 
 As a result of the rise of intelligent technologies and accounting firms’ adoption of them, the role of the accountant will shift from number-cruncher, to trusted financial adviser and business partner.