In the previous blog, we discussed the changing role of the accountant in today’s day and age through the evolution of technology in the accounting industry. In addition, we now look at the ongoing and upcoming trends in accounting and the financial services as a whole which are being brought about through the latest technological advancements.
In recent years, cloud computing has boosted the processing and storing of financial data in the accounting industry, and has grown into a necessary software for companies in the financial services, as all company information is safely stored on their servers and can be accessed anytime, anywhere with an internet connection, protecting both the company and their clients’ important information. With unlimited data processing and storage capabilities, data is well organised and can be obtained more efficiently, saving valuable time for accountants and auditors alike. Major benefits of investing in cloud computing are the abilities to reduce administration costs, back-up important, confidential information in the case of it being lost or corrupted, as well as the 24 hour availability for employees to access real-time data which they are permitted to view. All in all, cloud computing is a method for a company to enhance its data collecting and processing, to better organise it and use it more intelligently.
The Growth of Automation
Automation technology is doing away with the traditional activities of bookkeeping and manual entry, and by doing so is giving accountants and auditors more time to prioritise the more important aspects of their day-to-day tasks at the office. Contrary to the common belief that automation will be killing off several roles in the financial services, such technology is in fact providing professionals in finance with enhanced tools which can be used to their advantage, making it a favourable skill for accountants and auditors to gain the required digital skill set to interpret such tools and optimise their company’s decisions in the marketplace.
Artificial Intelligence is introducing machine learning software which us aiding professionals within the financial services to make better informed decisions on marketing and sales due to the interpretation of past data and pattern recognition. Artificial Intelligence is also bringing along with it new tools to the game, with intelligent software being implemented for professionals to organise and analyse all data gathered for internal and client use alike. The financial services are currently creating greater job opportunities for individuals who are looking for careers in technology to generate and upkeep software which provides intelligent analytics from the acquired data which can be used as leverage in decision-making. Therefore, the importance of professionals in finance learning how to understand and interpret such analytics is becoming more and more relevant by time.
Data Security is a Top Concern
With larger amounts of data being stored online, there grows the fear of data breach and theft, making data security a priority for all companies who store confidential information on their operations and clients on the cloud. The merging of technology in finance becomes once again evident, as tech professionals are being recruited within the financial services to optimise cyber security and update software according to the latest data protection regulations.
The Introduction of Blockchain Technology & Cryptocurrency
Blockchain technology has already started making waves in the financial services industries worldwide, with the new sector of Fintech sparking new start-ups promising excellent and efficient banking and payment solutions with the option of cryptocurrency as a viable form of payment. The financial processes of blockchain technology allow greater transparency to online transactions through shared ledger technology which records all transactions and makes them viewable to all parties involved. Many organisations have already started accepting payment in cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Litecoin and Ethereum, and although such alternative currencies are as of yet not being utilised at a large scale, predictions are that they will grow in popularity by time, making them a viable option for online payment.
Technology is providing all industries with great new methods of communication which enhance the levels of collaboration between colleagues as well as clients and provide a smoother and faster way of getting tasks done. With company information stored on the cloud, employees may have access to a shared area where they can access certain data to edit and use as well as share and transfer, and as mentioned above, employees may also take the opportunity to work more flexibly with their clients and provide a more effective service by having access to real-time data.
Social Media Presence
The power of social media to increase awareness of a company’s services has certainly grown over the years, with platforms such as LinkedIn and Facebook serving as networking and marketing tools which reach potential clients and drive conversions. The shift of such social media platforms used as exposure and engagement tools to a customer conversion tool has proven beneficial to a great number of organisations who have invested in promoting their services through social media to reach out to their audience more efficiently. Customers and clients also take it for granted that a company has an active online presence, and appreciate that a company shifts its efforts to where there is the most attention on the internet.
The above trends are ones which any competitive company within the finance industry should take into consideration to raise the bar of their operations and provide intelligent financial solutions in a smooth and straightforward manner to their clients and customers.
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