With technology and data science developing at an ever more rapid rate, you may be excused for believing that accountancy is set to become a redundant profession, having its role assumed by software. Historically, automated systems rendered large proportions of manual labour obsolete,
so could artificial intelligence replace skilled professions such as accountancy?
Nothing could be further from the truth. However, it remains crucial that if you are engaged in the final year of an accounting degree, you fully grasp the opportunities technology now offers. Those already qualified would be well advised to consider a top up degree to update digital skills.
Accountancy has evolved alongside the advent of new technology, and personal accountant have been using it for some years to improve the speed, accuracy and scope of their work. Adding more advanced data analysis to the accountant’s “tool kit” makes them even more essential for creating financial projections that modern day business strategies depend upon.
How to be a perfect personal accountant?
Small business and individuals may be attracted to the user-friendly and relatively straightforward DIY accountancy software on the market. This is because much of their accountancy work is based on repetition, collating small amounts of data and keeping up with basic financial requirements. But the accountancy profession has moved a long way from the days it could be considered number crunching and accountants simply the engineers of VAT returns, annual accounts and bookkeeping.
It is impossible to programme computers to make the judgements that a fully trained accountant provides, nor will software ever replicate the human interaction that grounds and develops a good working relationship. The level of governance and business planning encompassed by modern day accountants means that technology needs them!
The emergence of machinery and software that can analyse huge amounts of data quickly – known As Big Data – makes fraud detection and forensic accounting a great deal easier. Accountants with an understanding of how Big Data and data science are developing can be part of how these advances are focused and can use them to make complex decisions.
Another way in which personal accountant can embrace technology to underpin professional standing is to use it to improve the way they engage with clients. Mobile devices and apps are increasingly important to build and maintain relationships between businesses and their advisors.
So technology won’t replace accountancy, as the profession is moving with the times. However, individual accountants do need to keep up with the rapid pace of change in order to avoid personally becoming obsolete.