The impact of technology on the work of accountants

The impact of technology on the work of accountants

In the last few decades, the exponential evolution of technology has given rise to new and innovative techniques that seek to improve our living conditions as well as our professional activities.

In that sense, we must be aware that said techniques and processes modify the way we carry out our accounting duties. At present, we are agents of change at organizations as we can use new tools such as Big Data, Robotics, and the Cloud to be more efficient and maximize profitability.

However, how these technological advances have transformed the work of accountants? Here are some of the most significant impacts of technology on the accounting profession:

  • In such a changing and demanding world, we, as accountants, have the opportunity to be part of the digital transformation and add value to our services. Without pretending to be a programming specialist, we should increase our interest in this field, work together with the IT department, and be agents of change at our organizations to meet certain urgent and recurring requirements, such as: the adoption of IFRS, changes to electronic accounting books, new reports for tax authorities, and the optimization of financial statement preparation for decision-making. In order to respond to the need for continuous improvement, the timely involvement of accountants is key to adapt systems to client needs and to coordinate the migration to other more integrated information systems that can be easily implemented and cost-efficient.
  • The search for new techniques facilitates the automation of routine tasks, which leads to positive consequences, such as having more time to work on complex issues that cannot be automated (e.g., correct standardizations, perform analyses, provide support during internal and external audits, etc.).
  • Through the use of new solutions, we can digitize the traceability of the flow of documentation, which involves several departments such as: front desk, warehouse, administration, and accounting. The idea is to avoid the use of non-integrated systems or modules, whose data often show discrepancies, causing inefficiencies. To this end, it is necessary to consider migrating from a traditional accounting system to an integrated system that is able to automate the organization’s core processes:
    • Receipt of documents / Purchases
    • Invoicing
    • Warehouse / Control of expenses
    • Collections / Payments
    • Payroll / Human Resources
    • Accounting / Taxes / Internal Control / Finance
  • Information integration systems currently transform data so that these can be read and accounted for at their source, as in the following scenarios:
    • When a sale takes place, the respective digital supporting document can be issued in one single action for tax authorities and the client. The system automatically sends such document to an email address or webpage from which it can be downloaded, recorded, and used for tax calculation purposes.
    • When a purchase takes place, the entire process, which includes its approval, recording, and payment, can be completed in just one or two steps.
    • Large quantities of information can be exchanged by using the Cloud. This tool provides not only storage solutions, but also speed and cybersecurity. This advanced technology allows accessing data from any device, at any time and from anywhere.

We can conclude that, if we constantly adopt new techniques as part of our services, we can become agents of change to help reduce repetitive or manual tasks, manage and assess the use of systems, and migrate to new platforms, as offering an efficient system contributes to the organization’s competitiveness and builds stronger client relationships. Thus, the accountants with access to new systems will be able to provide affordable services with up-to-date, secure, and reliable information.