The digital revolution is affecting businesses across the UK. From finance departments to HR, technology is having a considerable effect on the way that people work.
Accounting firms have embraced technology over recent years, taking advantage of the array of cloud-based software and finance automation available on the market, but the fintech arena is beginning to offer solutions far beyond this.
The conversation in the accounting profession is fast-moving and is centred around new apps, banking practice and new ways of analysing data. Thanks to technology, many business owners may be tempted to bring their accounting in house. However, the role of accountants should not be underestimated.
A key strategy for accountants is developing a close relationship with their clients. This means that they can give unparalleled advice on a company's software adoption. If you find the right accountant, they will act as a sounding board for their clients. Accountants can also help to ensure that the right technology is introduced to the right business, streamlining operational and reporting processes.
The complexities of accounting processes mean that an accountant's experience and insight can add value to their clients' investment in technology.
A business owner must understand that different software can relate to various aspects of accounting, such as bookkeeping, cash flow and forecasting. The chosen accounting software must also fit into any company's broader financial management and reporting strategy. Accountants can - and should - be at the frontline in providing appropriate advice to clients.
When it comes to company spending and employee expenses, business credit cards often play a significant role. Even with the best technology in place, real-time analysis can be difficult for finance departments.
One solution is a pre-paid card. These enable companies to add individual restrictions and limits to their team's spending. Soldo specifically uniquely provides business owners with dashboards to track and monitor spending in real-time. Any fraudulent activity can also be acted upon immediately.
The digital revolution may provide a challenge for many accountants. However, the complexities of the accounting profession mean that it is unlikely for their role to become replaced in the future.
Faster analysis, a reduction in margins for error and cost savings will benefit both accountants and their clients. It also means that opportunities arise to cement the relationship with clients, widening advice to include software specification and selection, thereby consolidating trust.
The introduction of appropriate technology in client organisations also means that accountants can save time on repetitive tasks, potentially passing on financial benefits to both parties. Eliminating these tasks means that accountants can spend more time in an advisory role, which as we have seen above, will be crucial as technological developments continue apace.
As technology shares the burden of accounting operations, accountants will become strategic advisors. Whatever the future holds for accountants, they will always provide unrivalled advice to each client thanks to their human advantage.