Accounting Automation Future Trends

Accounting Automation future Trends

New technology advances in the accounting industry have dramatically changed how accountants work over the last decade, with a huge leap in just the past few years. Accountants can now focus more on analysis, strategy, and high-level decision-making rather than day-to-day bookkeeping responsibilities.

When you combine changes in consumer behavior with the increased availability and volume of data, it’s clear why automation in accounting is a necessity. It can help make your workflows more efficient, keep up with changing regulations, and outperform the competition. Here are some of the top trends to look out for.

Cloud-Based and SaaS Platforms on the Rise

Cloud-based and SaaS platforms have become integral parts of accounting and finance operations. This technology promotes better collaboration between teams, reduces processing times, and allows team members to work from any location or device with an internet connection.

Now that accounting functions can be performed remotely, companies have access to a much broader talent pool. Accounting data is also more accessible with cloud-based platforms, and has more sophisticated security features than local servers. Plus, routine software updates are no longer managed at the firm; SaaS providers automatically update software, so you’ll always have the latest version.

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Accounting automation is getting even more advanced with the development and implementation of artificial intelligence (AI). AI uses robotic process automation to perform repetitive tasks like account reconciliations and invoice processing. Machine learning is often used to predict future cash flows and identify potential fraud.

The use of AI in accounting reduces the time spent on tedious tasks, increasing productivity and efficiency for the finance team. And because human error isn’t a factor, AI provides higher-quality data and reporting. It enables the accounting and finance team to focus on value-added tasks to promote business growth.

These value-added tasks include detailed analysis and insights gained through the use of AI for real-time analytics. Companies can analyze thousands of transactions in seconds to identify irregularities, investigate spend data, and predict future income and expenditures. These insights can then inform business decisions.

Blockchain Technology

The blockchain isn’t just for trading cryptocurrencies and other digital assets—it can also be used to maintain secure and decentralized accounting records. Each transaction must be validated by all nodes in the network and can’t be changed, making it nearly fraud-proof.

Because of this transaction validation, blockchain technology makes it easier for internal or external auditors to verify transactions and financial records. Substantive tests can now be performed on entire populations of transactions rather than only a tiny fraction. The level of assurance grows considerably as the number of tested transactions increases. In other words, blockchain can help save significant time and money during auditing.

Many businesses have also incorporated smart contracts into transactions with customers and vendors. Smart contracts can automate a contract’s actions, like releasing payment when delivery is complete. This speeds up processing time and reduces labor costs.

High Integration and Scalability

Automation in accounting is incredible, but requires strong, seamless integrations between your accounting software and systems. Without automatic data syncing, your finance team is stuck doing time-consuming, error-prone work like manual data entry.

It’s impossible to scale if the accounting department can’t keep up or if your financial data is inaccurate—and an integrated system is more easily scalable than a manual system. Most SaaS platforms offer multiple service tiers for different business sizes and needs, making it easy for these systems to grow alongside your company.

Increased Emphasis on Training

The systems used to implement automation can be incredibly complex, and users might not be aware of all functions. If all available features aren’t used, the return on investment will be limited. But this can easily be avoided by providing additional training for employees and customers. Accounting teams should make it a priority to hold regular training sessions to keep up with new technological developments and automation tools.

In addition to tech-related skills, accountants need to develop soft skills like critical thinking, problem-solving, and communication. When automation tools are used to perform repetitive tasks, accountants have more time for analysis and decision-making—which require a separate skill set. Companies should screen for these skills during the hiring process, and help current employees to improve them through ongoing training.

Are You Following the Trends?

New technologies in the accounting industry—such as cloud computing, artificial intelligence, and blockchain—have transformed the way accounting and finance teams work. When they’re properly integrated and implemented, these technologies can support scalability and provide faster, more accurate reporting. They can also free up team members to focus on more strategic and valuable tasks. Ultimately, keeping up with accounting automation trends will help you maximize workflows, stay compliant, and get the edge over competitors.

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