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The Changing Role of the Accountant

about 2 years ago by Luigi Muscat Filletti
Person using a mobile phone

The Changing Role of the Accountant

The evolution of technology is continuing to change the accounting industry, with the introduction of new softwares providing more efficient working solutions in the daily tasks of the accounting profession. The accountants of today are already realising the effects of the implementation of technology in their industry, with some wary that automation might disrupt roles which are normally seen to by accountants, yet in reality, technological growth is providing greater opportunity to individuals looking for careers in finance and banking.

With technology addressing tasks of book-keeping, manual entry and data collection, accountants will have more time on their hands to look into more strategic work and act as key business drivers for their company.

Technological Edge

There is an increasing demand for accountants who possess skills in IT in order to understand and act on the technological assistance being offered to them by the emerging softwares of Blockchain and Artificial Intelligence (AI). The accountants of the future are being guided to acquiring the necessary IT skills so that they will be readily prepared to take on the new roles of accounting and assist in company growth by intelligently interpreting new financial data which is gathered.

The machine learning software of AI recognises patterns, allowing it to learn from past market trends and consumer behaviour, enabling it to predict outcomes - a powerful tool which can be understood and utilised by professionals in financial services to up the game of their company. Also, blockchain technology allows companies to record their payments to and from each other in a shared ledger, allowing all transactions to be easily tracked from manufacturers down to the final stages of consumer purchases, to prevent cases of fraud or money laundering, once again creating a well organised system for auditors and accountants. Therefore, with new technologies taking care of administrative tasks, accountants will be given greater opportunity to get involved with business planning and strategy, giving them the chance to make a bigger difference and excel in their careers.

Technology is surely promising exciting changes to the financial services industries, with the relatively new sector of Fintech a key example of how the merging of Finance and Technology is generating many career opportunities for talented individuals. By obtaining digital skills, accountants can work at speed as their proficiency in using online software to interpret financial data will work to their advantage. With automation technology being implemented, data collection and data processing will be carried out in a far more straightforward manner, and thus there will be an increase in productivity and decrease in costs.

With the introduction of cloud computing, client portals, smart contracts and electronic signatures, authorisations are being done in a more secure and efficient way. With such technology affecting the everyday operations of accounting roles, accountants will be able to provide more value to their company and clients by acting as financial and business advisors.

Greater Client Assistance

Nowadays, clients are expecting their accountant to provide a complete service to them in relation to financial advice, compliance and tax services. Now, with much of the administrative work being facilitated by technology, accountants will have more time to analyse financial data and make the suitable recommendations to their clients. Additionally, AI technology is now aiding individuals in finance and banking by providing data on market trends and stock performance, not to mention updating clients and customers automatically about any changes to their account or about any online transactions to or from their account. Cloud computing is also offering accountants the opportunity to engage with their clients on a more profound level, with collaboration via the internet on any device allowing accountants to keep their clients up-to-date. The accountants of the future would be able to further get involved in marketing strategies and company decisions, therefore making them better rounded figures in their organisation.

With the aid of technology, accountants will be able to work more productively and efficiently, providing more value to their clients as a result. Therefore, the advancements in technology will create a shift from the common thought of an accountant being one who undertakes the profits and expenses of a business, to an accountant being a figure who knowledgeably advises their clients and influentially participates and contributes to their company’s strategies.