How Accountants Can Embrace Automation and Accounting Technology
Written by Amanda Bower | Published: June 22, 2023
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It’s a bit taboo to talk about and can get a bad rap: accounting technology and automation is rising in popularity, and it’s becoming far more common. But with the rise of this accounting technology comes a lot of confusion.
Accounting has historically been a human-first job, with talented people at the helm of accounting services. But today, game-changing accounting technologies are overhauling the landscape as we know it.
So, is accounting technology something of a “dirty word?” Is it something that should leave accounting departments shaking in their boots?
No, and in fact, quite the contrary is true. When skillful and knowledgeable accounting professionals leverage accounting technology and automation, they can provide better, more accurate, and more comprehensive accounting services.
Here’s everything you need to know about accounting technology today and how it can support the work of powerhouse accounting teams.
Where Would Accounting Teams Rather Spend Time?
When we talk about accounting technology and automation tools, we’re not talking about technology replacing the jobs of accounting departments and real, human accountants. Instead, we’re talking about how these new technical tools can empower and elevate accounting teams.
Think back to the year 1967. You’re an accountant, and the electronic calculator was just invented. You might have been unsure of this new tool at first, but as you embrace it, you see how easily it can improve your job.
Where would accountants today be if they never embraced the electronic calculator? We can think of today’s accounting technology as something similar. Instead of fearing how it will transform the landscape, it’s something to be excited about because accountants today have far more tools at their disposal, which are advancing incredibly fast.
Today’s accounting technologies support the work of accountants. Instead of spending time crunching numbers in spreadsheets, they can use powerful next-generation tools to get the job done faster, more accurately, and more effectively.
Data shows us that 45% of accountants say technology has improved client services and satisfaction, while 54% say it helps them provide faster customer service.
With today’s accounting technology, accountants can put their skills and energy into more valuable places instead of spending time crunching numbers.
What Does Accounting Technology Do for Accountants?
How exactly does accounting technology support the work of accountants? Here are a few examples.
Automates Repetitive Tasks and Organization
Your accountant’s time is valuable. If they’re spending their time on menial, repetitive tasks that accounting technology could handle swiftly, then they’re wasting time.
Instead of putting their skills into repetitive, time-consuming tasks, your financial pros can use accounting technology to streamline those responsibilities. By having it take care of data entry, calculations, invoices, payment reminders, and expense tracking automatically, you can free up your accountant’s time and allow them to focus on strategic financial planning and decision-making. Then, they can put their brain power into much more valuable places.
No one is perfect, not even your accountants. Even the most skillful accountants run the risk of human error, particularly if they’re completing tasks manually.
But by using accounting software, your accountants are more likely to be error-free. With tools like automated data entry and calculations and features such as error detection, your team can make sure they’re accurate 100% of the time.
Reports are crucial because they provide you with key insights into your organization’s financial health and future. But building reports can be complex and incredibly time-consuming, particularly if your accounting team isn’t optimizing their work with accounting technology. Accounting technology can help your team easily build comprehensive, detailed reports which distill crucial insights.
Checks for Compliance
As a fast-growing business, there are many aspects of compliance and regulatory standards you need to be in alignment with. Accounting technology often has features that help with adherence to tax laws, accounting standards, and compliance with industry-specific regulations.
Provides Real-Time Information
Due to today’s business landscape’s competitive and high-pressure nature, organizations must operate with the most up-to-date financial information possible. With accounting technology, teams get real-time information and updates about their most important and sensitive financial information.
Facilitates Remote Collaboration
In today’s rapidly evolving business landscape, relying solely on traditional accounting methods is no longer sufficient. To stay ahead of the curve, remote accounting services are becoming increasingly popular.
With the ability to partner with top talent worldwide, location is no longer a limiting factor. Utilizing cutting-edge accounting technology enables businesses to reach new heights and achieve their goals.
How Does This Impact Accountants?
How exactly does accounting technology impact the work of accountants? Here are several concrete ways.
Financial planning is a crucial accounting role that can be enhanced and optimized through accounting technology. These tools allow accountants to develop comprehensive financial plans, budgets, and forecasts.
Using technology, accountants can leverage the information from financial models, perform scenario analysis, and project future financial outcomes. Then, they use their expertise and “human touch” to distill the most important information and make high-impact decisions.
Budgeting without the right tools can be complex and prone to errors. But accounting technology can help make all aspects of budgeting a breeze for accountants.
For example, accounting pros can use advanced tools to monitor expenses and revenue in real-time, and to operate with better accuracy and precision. Accounting technology also allows accountants to quickly analyze scenarios and consider “what if” situations.
Instead of wasting time double-checking everything, let the accounting tech handle the busy work so they can focus on providing valuable insights and making crucial business decisions that truly matter.
“CFO Level Work”
With today’s accounting technology, even basic accounting departments can perform top-tier “CFO-level work” or complex and critical tasks. For example, with the right technology, accountants can easily execute advanced financial analysis and can do things like assess profitability, evaluate cost structures, and identify any operating weaknesses and strengths.
With these tools, accountants can also execute strategic planning and financial forecasting and dive into the financial feasibility of different ideas and potential investment opportunities. They can also make strategic financial decisions more easily by accessing financial insights. Accountants can also seamlessly monitor performance and KPIs and get uninhibited insights into the organization’s financial performance.
Business accounting is a team sport, and today’s accounting technology enables more collaboration than ever before. Whether your team is working in different offices or you’re bringing in outsourced accounting experts, cloud-based accounting technology makes collaboration seamless. Multiple users can access and work on things at the same time seamlessly, streamlining the collaborative process.
Accounting technology doesn’t only facilitate better internal collaboration: it also provides a platform for effective collaboration with other departments, as well as with external stakeholders (such as advisors and consultants).
More Analysis, Less Preparation
Your accountants are highly-trained financial experts who should be spending their time knee-deep in analysis instead of wasting time on redundant tasks. Accounting technology today enables just that: it takes care of the baseline tasks that are best left to a machine, so your accounting people can spend their time making valuable, weighty assessments, which are best left to the humans.
What are some of those tasks that can be easily handled by accounting automation or technology? For example, they include data entry, transaction processing, and reporting.
Accounting technology also makes it incredibly easy to integrate data so it flows through your systems. Basis (a partner of hiline) is a great example of this: they connect your financial and operational data to give you a full view of your operations.
When your accountants are using accounting technology, they’re far less likely to waste time on repetitive tasks or correcting mistakes and far more likely to be productive with their work hours. One survey found that 91% of accountants say that accounting technology has made them more productive. That’s because these user-friendly tools automate some of the most time-consuming work accountants perform, freeing them up to tackle high-impact tasks.
Accounting Technology Allows CPAs and Accountants to Do the Good Work
Your financial experts are just that: experts. Instead of tying them up with busy work prone to errors, you can leverage powerful accounting technology to handle tasks like that.
Then, your accountants and CPAs are free to really stretch their legs and put that expertise to work. Accounting technology and automation are the future of accounting, plain and simple.
We know so much about accounting technology because it’s what we do. We’re hiline, and we provide finance as a service to help you grow, including bookkeeping, finance, tax, HR, and payroll.
Let us show you just how much our accounting technology can empower the financial gurus on your squad. Contact us today to get started.
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