10 Accounting Trends In 2021 Businesses Need To Remember

Technology is a driving force for growth. It’s synonymous with development, and in today’s business landscape, it continues to reshape industries and businesses. With the right technology, organisations operate more efficiently. And this is what the newest accounting trends primarily concerns with.

Developments like SaaS introduced the industry to cloud-based accounting tools alongside on-premise solutions. Still, more technological developments are on the way for the accounting industry. With such rapid transformation in the industry, more accounting leaders and professionals are finding newer ways to leveraging advanced accounting solutions for accounting processes.

Let’s ponder over some of the accounting trends that are noticed or will be prominent in the coming days within the accounting industry. 

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Data analytics and forecasting tools

Maximum use of budgeting, forecasting and planning software, as well as data analytics and visualisation tools, is becoming a regular practice in big or small companies. Such technologies will help push the accounting and finance department from simply transactional and reactionary to proactive and analytical. 

This obviously calls for analytical and tech-savvy accountants to take on the responsibilities. In this case, IMA (Institute of management accountant) had launched its Data Analytics & Visualization Fundamentals Certificate last year. The program is created to assist accounting professionals with strong critical thinking and technology skills to run businesses. 

The implementation of blockchain 

The accounting industry needs to spare more attention to blockchain technology more and for proper reasons. Blockchain is already altering the accounting sector by reducing the expenses of reconciling and maintaining ledgers. It also presents the required accuracy in case of ownership and history of assets. With blockchain technology, accountants can have a clearer view of their organisation’s obligations and existing resources. 

The Big Four in the accounting industry, i.e. Ernst Young, Deloitte, Price Waterhouse Cooper, and KPMG, have joined the blockchain trend. These organisations have hired people to work in distributed ledger laboratories. 

The contribution of Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Across different industries, there’s a consensus that AI can and will have a significant impact on accounting. Companies are slowly adopting AI and robotic process automation (RPA) to automate repetitive and mundane tasks, allowing accountants to focus their time on more crucial activities. Accounting Firm Ernst & Young, for instance, has incorporated AI to analyse the lease contracts. 

This way, the company plans to simplify the process of gathering the details quickly on the amount to be paid, termination or renewal options. This allows the finance professional to invest more time in making decisions with the data instead of searching for it.

Optimum use of accounting software solutions

The utilisation of technologically advanced solutions in the accounting industry will intensify in the coming years. These software platforms consist of a range of functionalities accountants value the most, like minimising manual tasks and optimising processes.

The accounting software market is said to experience a higher level of popularity in the years to come. All over the world, there’s a steady demand for software platforms to manage spreadsheets and have a clear knowledge of tax management.

More emphasis on data security

Data breaches are rather common nowadays, and accounting departments are frequently the targets of such malpractices. The breaches may result in identity theft or the stealing of crucial details like credit card details. 

Training in identifying potentially malicious emails and detecting attacks is now a requirement for accounting teams. This shouldn’t be difficult, considering accountants are already skilled in checking the details and spotting anomalies. The accounting team can become champions of cybersecurity for your organisation.

The popularity of cloud-based accounting  

The cloud has become a preferred choice for accounting services. With cloud-based accounting solutions, companies can carry out their accounting processes more smoothly at any time. This system works well for teams that are working remotely since the COVID-19 pandemic began last year. 

Moreover, cloud-based systems enable the creation of workflows, saving valuable time for businesses. Considering these benefits, many businesses are transitioning to cloud-based accounting systems. As per a survey conducted by Sage, 67% of accountants think that cloud technology can make their roles easier. 

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Source: Pixabay

Leveraging social media 

Social media has been game-changing in the case of different industries. And the accounting industry is no different. For accountants, it’s quickly turning out to be a potent branding and sales tool that maximises their exposure showcases their expertise and offers many brilliant opportunities to know more about the industry.

A concrete social media strategy can lead to the profitability of a business. Social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, blogs, and community forums help accounting businesses connect with their consumers. Accounting firms also benefit from monitoring competitors and industry trends. 

A hybrid approach to advisory services

Many experts are anticipating the hybrid approach that brings accounting technology and financial advisor input together in the near future. Unlike other tasks in accounting processes, decision-making will always fall into the hands of human experts and professionals. Thus, complete automation won’t be possible in the accounting sector.

The continuous implementation of advanced technologies in the accounting industry lets accounting firms emphasise the quality of their advisory services. The automation of repetitive tasks presents opportunities for accounting firms to devote more time evaluating data, sharing insights, and offering advice to their clients.

Outsourcing accounting responsibilities 

Multiple organisations are now outsourcing accounting responsibilities and reaping their benefits. Outsourcing allows these businesses to focus more on their finite resources, maximising profitability. It also saves employment costs like salaries, payroll, benefits, taxation, and training expenses. This is why outsourcing accounting functions is turning out to be a popular strategy among many organisations.

This has resulted in the emergence of a number of outsourced accounting service providers. It’s one of the fastest-growing trends in the accounting sector. Every year, companies capitalise on their outsourced accounting value and results.

  Proactive accounting will be useful 

Machine learning and RPA are being adopted to realign the approach to accounting processes. What’s been familiar as continuous accounting uses automation and other technology to carry out tasks that are usually done at the end of a specific period into normal day-to-day activities. 

But the perks of continuous accounting aren’t limited to fewer late nights for your accounting team. By automating repetitive tasks, you enhance the efficacy and data integrity. This frees up time for your accounting team because mistakes can lead to spending hours at work. Your team can then emphasise a culture of continuous improvement by monitoring for efficiencies in processes.

Winding it up, 

2021 will continue to let allow accountants to highlight their resilience and their indispensable contribution to the business. Everything depends on how well the professionals in the industry adopt trends to help guide and lead the organisations into the next phase of whatever the business processes require.

Author bio: Roger Kipps is an accountant for a private bank in Australia. Kipps has completed his MBA in finance from Federation University. He loves travelling and reading in his leisure time. He’s also an esteemed member of MyAssignmenthelp.com and provides accounting assignment help to students.

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