By Brian Munjanja
The accountant world is about to have an overhaul – new technology, new software and new regulations! The traditional, cautious accountant is set for a shake-up!
New opportunities for businesses with be created by the introduction and utilisation of artificial intelligence, automation, cloud accounting, Open Banking and Making Tax Digital promise to transform the accountancy and advisory profession. So, what is driving this change? What is the significance for accountants? And what will be the impact for businesses?
Key drivers of change
- Faster flowing and freer financial information. Greater access to data, automation of processes and integration of software and tools is putting more power at the fingertips of key decision makers inside businesses, allowing for more responsive and better-informed decisions.
- Artificial intelligence and machine learning in software and apps promise to unearth far greater insights than manual analysis can currently offer.
- Increasing automation of processes around invoice management, credit control, cashflow forecasting, and reconciliations – this will reduce the time accountants need to spend on these traditional duties, freeing up resources and expertise to focus on more value-adding projects.
- Cloud Accounting packages such as Xero and QuickBooks are bringing together these capabilities and offering businesses access to these accounting services from anywhere and at any time.
- Great advancements in financial technology and software – this is only going to continue to grow, aided by the launch of Open Banking this year.
- UK banks are forced to open up their data, allowing verified third-parties to access information, providing bespoke services/products to help businesses and customers pick and mix the solutions that best meet their needs.
These developments will clearly have wide-ranging and transformative effects on accountants and businesses.
How will businesses be impacted?
- Businesses, no matter how small, will have access to real-time financial information and reporting, allowing them to take pre-emptive action or to react instantly to evolving situations.
- The greater access to data and more powerful tools, this could lead to better insight and decisions around budgeting, forecasting, analysis and resource management. For example, applications such as Fluidly are leading the way for SMEs, offering both credit control and automated cashflow forecasts powered by AI.
- Small business owners who have previously relied on intermittent or annual access to financial reporting, analysis and forecasting, will now have access to real-time and month-end reports.
- There ia potential for big savings in terms of time and costs, with many of the traditional, time-consuming tasks of accountant being hoovered up by AI, automation and Cloud Accounting solutions.
So, what does this mean for accountants? What are the implications for accountants?
How businesses choose to react to these opportunities will of course be very individual. Reductions in head counts and overheads, and the use of outsourcing, will be tempting for some, especially the embryonic businesses and sole traders.
But many will opt to redistribute their resources, releasing them from many administrative duties allowing more focus on their core expertise, as well as building the business. With more powerful tools at their disposal around planning, forecasting and analysis, they will be able to take an increasingly strategic role in identifying threats and opportunities.
Taking more of a business partnering or management consulting approach, will allow a greater input around pricing, costs, markets and future direction. New software and technologies are continually expanding the services they offer, which will only serve to strengthen accountants and advisors’ armouries through which they can assist their clients.
There are huge incentives for accountants to shed their cautious image and embrace the tech scene. Those that can navigate this new Fintech landscape, advise clients on the optimal stack of different solutions, and utilise them to deliver for their business could be at a great advantage.
The primary role of qualified accountants, of course, is that of delivering the financial information to stakeholders and helping to ensure businesses are profitable, compliant with regulations and remain as a going concern. But the creation of new technology, software and regulation, promise to offer some exciting opportunities for accountants and businesses.
Which accountant would you prefer to have looking after you and your business?
The experts – Broadwing Accountancy!
We provide support to you and your business needs in 3 areas – Outsourced Accounting, Personal & Corporation Tax, and Specialist Projects & Compliance.
Just like these new technologies, our dynamic and imaginative solutions solve your problems – saving you time and money. We’re here to simplify your life!
To find out how Broadwing Accountancy could benefit you and your company, contact Brian Munjanja on 01604 328328, or email your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.