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Tech Trends in the Accounting Industry & How Accountants will Benefit

over 3 years ago by Luigi Muscat Filletti
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The growth in technology is revolutionising the way we do business and is bringing along with it a number of trends in the Accounting industry in Malta which are changing how accountants operate. Cutting-edge technology through the likes of Blockchain and Artificial Intelligence (AI) are seen to be disrupting how companies facilitate their accounting procedures, yet it remains that although such technology is being said to kill off a number of jobs, the reality is that it will in fact serve as a powerful tool for professionals in finance and technology to help them create more efficient processes in their work.

Below we will discuss a few trends which are appearing in the accounting industry in Malta, and how they will affect the Finance and Banking sectors of the economy and enhance career opportunities in finance.

The Help of Blockchain

Blockchain technology consists of a public ledger which records quick and efficient online transactions (secured through cryptography) which does away with third-party authentication, operating in a decentralised manner. Such technology therefore traces all transactions and may assist accountants in the tracking of a line of payment from manufacturing stages to the end consumer. Blockchain technology may also assist in automating financial processes and rid of manual data entry - automating auditing processes, preventing cases of fraud and detecting money laundering are major benefits to any organisation, as well as is the generating of smart contracts to smoothen out digital invoicing. Such technological tools will surely help accountants and auditors to work more productively, eliminate human error and decrease the loss of valuable time.

The Aid of AI

Artificial Intelligence is set to play a major role in the Financial Services industry, assisting accountants and financial advisors in analysing and implementing useful data gathered by AI software. The introduction of AI has in fact played a major role in the creation of the new sector of Fintech, as this new technology is revolutionising the Financial Services industries around the world. The machine-learning systems of AI can aid accountants through the automation of data processing, and like Blockchain technology, it reduces the likelihood of unnecessary human mistakes. Moreover, AI technology is not only able to assist in the usual manual bookkeeping and accounting procedures of a company, but also in more complex operations - machine learning is able to learn patterns and recognise them for future situations; by predicting financial results, evaluating risk, detecting fraud and cyberattacks and forecasting market behaviour, professionals in finance could utilise AI technology to their advantage to help them form more strategic approaches. AI also assists risk management by forecasting a customer’s creditworthiness by analysing their financial history and current financial situation. The involvement of these two areas of Blockchain and AI also greatly contribute to the further career opportunities in technology in Malta, as the number of software developer careers continue to rise.

Cloud Accounting & Edge Computing

Cloud software allows a company to store and organise its large amounts of data on a platform which is directly connected to the internet, allowing the data to be easily accessible and transferred, anytime. Beyond that, cloud computing also secures a company’s data by storing it in a private server, thereby safeguarding intellectual property in the case of computers becoming damaged. Now, the emerging technology of edge computing is complementing cloud computing by collecting, generating and analysing data at the site it is gathered, rather than at a central location such as a data centre. This technical upgrade brings advantages of speed, allowing greater volumes of data to be managed and distributed as well as efficiency in executing auditing and accounting tasks through the updated synchronisation between accounting applications and the point of data acquisition. Accountants can also make use of edge computing by maintaining strong client and customer relationships by safely storing their financial details in the cloud, and in addition allowing them to view their account details in a more efficient way.

Collaborative Accounting

Modern day technology is also facilitating the collaboration of business activity the world over - through the use of cloud software sharing and fast communication tools which are creating solutions for collaborative accounting, accountants are able to work alongside each other or even with their clients in real-time, from anywhere in the world. Again, the internet is revolutionising the way companies operate internally and externally, and this new form of collaborative accounting brought about through digital innovation allows accountants to communicate effectively with their colleagues and clients to report any problems, advice, or any amendments made to their accounts through instant messaging or video calls. With the right communication tools, accountants and auditors can inform and assist clients and customers in a more straightforward manner and prevent any misunderstandings between them. This certainly addresses customers’ demands of wanting greater and more meaningful connectivity through discussions and up-to-date information about their accounts and financial advice.

On a final note

The introduction of these growing technologies should be considered as opportunities rather than threats, as by learning how to understand and utilise such technology, the accountants of today and those of the future can shape themselves into well-informed, all-rounded individuals within their company, thus enabling them to become advisors, innovators and points of reference within their field.