1. Sophisticated Automation
According to the Benchmarking Accounting & Finance Functions: 2019 report from Robert Half and Financial Education & Research Foundation, automation is becoming more and more prominent across businesses of all sizes. Robotic process automation (RPA) is a version of this technology that uses both cloud computing and artificial intelligence to automate processes that are extremely complex. This comes in handy, especially, when it comes to tasks that need to be completed with robot-like accuracy.
While automation can really help to decrease labor-intensive tasks like tax preparation and payroll, most businesses don’t plan to automate tasks that require strategic thinking like financial planning and financial decision making.
Blockchain refers to the record-keeping technology behind the Bitcoin network. Though blockchain technology can be a little confusing, at its most basic level, blockchain refers to a “chain” of “blocks.” In this case, the “blocks” are made up of digital pieces of information like the details of a transaction and who is participating in the blockchain. In the Harvard Business Review, it was described this way: “Money, equities, bonds, titles, deeds, contracts, and virtually all other kinds of assets can be moved and stored securely, privately, and from peer to peer, because trust is established not by powerful intermediaries like banks and governments, but by network consensus, cryptography, collaboration, and clever code.”
This will be such a disruptive technology, and many firms within the financial industry are currently investing in blockchain solutions. Blockchain reduces transaction costs and support models of peer-to-peer collaboration. We are likely to see blockchain upending many of the complex intermediate functions in the industry like trading value, identity and reputation, and lending and borrowing.
3. Cloud-Based Software
According to The Robert Half research, cloud-based systems now rank as the most widely used technology in accounting and finance. Now that the security concerns about cloud-based software have mostly eased, individuals in accounting and finance are now able to focus on the advantages that the cloud offers. Some of these include potential cost savings as well as the ability to view updated figures in real-time.
4. Accountant Roles Evolving
Currently, accountants are doing way more in their roles than they used to. While ten years ago, it was enough for those who wanted to get into accounting and finance simply to have a comprehensive understanding of laws and regulations in finance as well as an expert knowledge of mathematics, now accounting and finance professionals also need to have good communication skills. They also need to be well-versed in strategy and have the ability to make sound financial decisions.
Are you interested in working in this field? Read more about how to get started with a career in accounting and finance.