Technology continues to impact multiple sectors worldwide, with finance being one of the most significant. Professionals in finance are being faced with the challenges and opportunities brought about through the latest advancements of digital innovation - from technologies of Cloud Computing to AI and Big Data, professionals following careers in accounting and finance are continuously encouraged to be in the know about the most recent trends influencing their field and industry.
The evolving role of the accountant in the face of automation is a much talked about topic, and the reality surrounding it is that technology will indeed progress to assist accounting and finance professionals in their tasks and responsibilities. The approach must be one which is positive and proactive, as embracing and innovating through the fruits of the digital age is a way to ensure that companies experience digitisation in a sustainable manner together with a long-term strategy. As companies embrace such digital innovation, greater career opportunities in accounting in Malta will be expected.
Three technologies which are displaying steady growth and adoption at the workplace are Data Analytics, Cloud Accounting and Machine Learning - and they will demand of accountants the persistence to develop the necessary skills to make the most of these evolving technologies.
Data management is becoming a prioritised skill for accountants at the workplace. Advanced technology is providing companies with valuable data in real-time. Data analytics can be branched out into four types - descriptive analytics, diagnostic analytics, predictive analytics and prescriptive analytics - which influence company operations in different ways.
In relation to the accounting profession however, descriptive analytics generates insightful historical data to forecast future trends which can be used for financial calculations and decisions. Diagnostic analytics provides in-depth explanations regarding past events and results which can be used for data storage and management, whilst predictive analytics provides accountants forecasts on future trends and expected results. Finally, prescriptive analytics answers what methods should be put into effect to achieve desired objectives.
Such analytics can thus be applied to various segments of an organisation, with professionals in finance being given greater opportunity to influence company direction and contribute more effectively towards business growth. The stream of data analytics skills can be broken down into a few areas - data exploration, data visualisation and predictive modelling.
In order to present actionable insights, accountants will need to develop their skills in data management, which means companies should address their skills gap by setting up initiatives such as mentorship programmes as well as internships to nurture young talent.
With the cloud accounting market rapidly growing, companies are adopting cloud computing more enthusiastically. This evolving technology contributes towards increased customer relationship management, tech support and asset and project management too, which is an accessible and scalable tool that enhances productivity and efficiency at the workplace.
As various financial practises become automated through cloud computing, accountants in Malta will be able to prioritise their more influential tasks. Moreover, such technology increases speed and accuracy, reducing human error of manual entry. As a result, responsibilities become more focused on the interpretation of this data and the actions taken through them.
Companies within the Fintech and iGaming sectors are already making remarkable progress through these technologies, further encouraging collaboration between professionals in tech and finance in Malta. Individuals following careers in accounting in Malta should keep up to date with the best practises in this area which is is the most established at this stage of the digital age.
The driving force behind AI, machine learning continues to shape the technologies of our time - a more advanced stream of this is being seen in deep learning - defined by a computer’s ability to put together associations and relationships between data sets and applying them to similar situations in the future. Such software can be customised to the company’s advantage - collaboration between tech and finance professionals is always being fostered to align company softwares with overall objectives.
Accountants will become more responsible for taking care of risks which are connected to AI by supporting data governance and seeing to internal controls. In addition from the accounting profession, internal as well as external auditors will gain responsibility in forming procedures, clarifying results and evaluating their effectiveness.
All in all
As companies continue to progress in the digital age, the role of the accountant will evolve based on such technological advancements and thus shape into a role which is centred around more vital decision-making responsibilities through successful data management and interpretation. A progressive accounting eduction is of outmost importance to ensure that upcoming generations of finance talent are well prepared to hit the ground running in the tech-based industries of tomorrow.