Future Vision for Accounting

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Traditionally, the role of the accountant has been associated with the image of the professional who keeps accounts and keeps books with financial information of companies. However, the technological revolution - in addition to other factors - is changing accounting today, positioning professionals in the area as true strategic advisers.

Four notes for the future of the accounting world

Hence, it's important to visualize the present and future panorama of the accounting world. Take 4 notes:

1. How do accountants currently view your profession?

According to the report The Practice of Now 2019, developed by Sage at a global level with a survey methodology, 90% of accountants believe that there is a cultural change in accounting, consisting of moving from a transactional profession to one focused on consulting.

This change is driven by the following reasons:

  • Market demands (21%).
  • Regulations (16%).
  • Digitization in progress (15%).
  • Generational changes (13%).
  • Customer demands (13%).
  • Investments to keep up (12%).

With regard to customer demands, financial data collection and management are no longer a primary need. Why? What you are looking for now is top-notch comprehensive advice to help you scale your business.

On generational changes, the confluence of "Baby Boomers" and "Millennials" in the accounting field leads to the infiltration of new and different attitudes, expectations and skills. This brings with it an organic change and new practices.

How are you living this transition from the operational to the analytical world?

Although ongoing digitization is a driver of change, it should be noted that - according to the report - the use of technology in accounting is still lagging and technology adoption isn't happening fast enough.

In fact, only 35% of accountants consider the use of technology in accounting to be paramount and invest in it as quickly as possible to diversify their offerings. The vast majority (58%) are digitizing at a slower speed, and implement basic tools necessary to keep up with work or meet customer expectations.

With regard to the workforce, accountants believe that to face this new reality, professionals must have new skills that will shape the future of accounting in the coming years:

  • Technological literacy (57%).
  • Construction of social relationships (46%).
  • Commercial advice (44%).
  • Industry experience outside of accounting (43%).
  • Project management (36%).

In that sense, talent recruitment is geared towards finding these skills, and 82% of accountants are considering recruiting in a non-traditional environment.

2. What are your main challenges?

As top challenges for the future of accounting, accountants cite recruiting and training. Faced with the latter, 62% of them accept that today's training will not be enough to execute a successful practice by 2030.

3. How is projecting the profession you the upcoming decades?

The report says that if you consider that 82% of accountants consider recruiting in a non-traditional environment, by 2030 accounting practices will develop differently from how they are run in accounting today.

In the decade in question, the importance of accounting will be greater and its practices will be characterized by:

  • Automatic data flow.
  • Relations between accountants and their clients in real time.
  • Proactive alerts and notifications that will let accountants know instantly when things change for their clients.
  • Preventive problem solving, made easier by the time accountants can spend proactively analyzing their clients' business.
  • Higher rates, but better service value.

Although the importance of accounting will continue to lie in its usefulness for decision making and visualization of the financial health of the business, the portfolio of services will focus more on advice.

4. What new resources are they talking about? Artificial intelligence?

The Sage report indicates that 58% of accountants plan to adopt Artificial Intelligence technology, which they believe will be available in different applications in the next three years.

Along the same lines, a report by the consulting firm Accenture, quoted in a Forbes article, indicates that " automation, minibots, machine learning and adaptive intelligence are becoming part of the finance team at lightning speed." Among the tasks that the machines could perform are:

  • Processing of accounts payable and / or receivable.
  • Incorporation of suppliers.
  • Acquisitions.
  • Audits
  • Monthly / quarterly closing process.
  • Expense management.
  • AI chatbots.

Accounting has not stopped evolving since its inception. However, the changes are happening more quickly. To be successful, you must insert yourself as soon as possible into the dynamics of digitization, using technological tools - such as accounting software - that will make your work as an accountant a reliable and safe activity.

Now that you read us, we listen to you: as an accountant, what technological tools do you use to optimize your daily tasks? Which ones do you think are essential?

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