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How accounting services are embracing digitalization & AI technology

One of the most remarkable changes in the accounting industry is the introduction of accounting digitalization. Cloud computing, brilliant algorithms, and AI technology are making accounting faster and more precise. Digitalization has brought massive advantages to the way accountants are doing their work. For starters, it has made accountants more responsive to the needs of their customers.

But it goes deeper than that. 

Accounting digitalization has the power to revolutionize how all businesses operate. In another ten years, paper receipts and shoeboxes of documents will only be relics of the past. In 2023, everyone has access to unique and powerful AI technology. The ease and accessibility of technology will continue to shape our personal and professional lives. 

The modern consumer is techno-savvy. They are able to check bank balances, deposit checks, and transfer money all through their phone. So when it comes to business, they expect the same level of accessibility and live reporting.  

They want to see real-time reporting of all their transactions, customized treatment, and fast service. Accounting digitalization is the solution. These tools empower accountants to offer fast, error-free service to their clients. Software and cloud development are bringing new innovations every year. You can see some of the best accounting software here.

With advancements continuously rolling out, businesses can take advantage and run their businesses at maximum efficiency. The good news is that accounting digitalization applies to businesses of all types––regardless of industry or size. Everyone can reap the benefits of lowered costs of production, marketing, and distribution.

As accounting professionals continue to embrace accounting digitalization, they are helping more businesses to realize renewed growth. But, what are the exact benefits of accounting digitalization?

Here is a look at some of the ways accountants are creating positive change in the business environment by embracing digitalization:

1. They Offer Instant Bookkeeping

For most businesses, their books are just a heap of receipts relegated somewhere within the office. With this kind of disorder, it may become a tall order for the accountant to provide the business with quality, timely bookkeeping services

However, with accounting digitalization, the story will be very different. It will be possible for the accountant to access all the receipts from one cloud space. From here, it will be possible to carry out all the required work, including the computation and filing of tax returns.

2. Easier Tax Return Filing

The US government recently announced that all paper tax returns would be redundant by 2020. It announced that all parties should have fully adopted the paperless digital tax returns.

This simply means that the time is ripe for businesses and accounting professionals to make the shift. Integrating all your accounting needs online ensures that all your finances operate in a single channel. 

3. Reduced Administrative Workload

Accountants play a critical role in staff management. Using cloud-computing software, this role becomes easier to carry out. Issues dealing with NI liabilities, PAYE, Holiday emoluments, leave allowances, and traveling per diem are done in a timely manner.

This saves the business a lot in terms of time, labor costs, and man-hours. According to a recent poll, close to 40% of businesses get distracted by administrative tasks daily. This leaves little time for other critical growth aspects of the business.

However, with the use of accounting digitalization, critical accounting processes are reorganized and updated quickly. With these out of the way, more time and energy can be expanded toward other important areas of the business.

4. Better Financial Forecasting

Some decisions that accountants make are best made with live information. For example, if they are trying to focus on financial investment trends, the results may not be great with manual facilities. Cloud accounting gives accountants a competitive edge. 

Many platforms offer live financial forecasts. They include stock markets, online money markets, and commodity markets. For an accountant to make the best up-to-date valuation of such markets, they need to utilize cloud computing.

Access to live financial reports also helps open clear communication between accountants and business owners. When everyone has all the information needed to make business decisions, there can be less push-and-pull about what is the right decision. 

Cloud computing and management have a big impact on accountants and the way they deliver their services. Any firm looking to reap the advantages of up-to-the-minute technology needs to consider accounting digitalization seriously. Equally important, they need to choose the best cloud management services for them offered by a cloud consulting partner that steers them toward success.

Three female accountants gather at a table to discuss accounting and using ai technology in finance

5. Shift towards Advisory Services

The real beauty of digitalization is the balance between technology and brainpower. Technology is not ready (at least not yet) to stand on its own, and in most cases, still needs a human touch to be fully optimized. When using accounting digitalization, accountants do open up more opportunities to serve their clients in an advisory capacity. This is where the real value of their experience lies. 

They can consult and support small businesses looking to expand, acquire capital, or restructure in a way that technology just cannot replicate. Human empathy, experience, and wisdom can be a catalyst for helping small businesses really thrive. 

6. Improved Accuracy & Efficiency

Accounting digitalization allows accountants to analyze large amounts of data, detect fraud, and provide financial insights at a speed never seen before. This may be the cornerstone of AI and technology in accounting. By using available technology, you can expect your accounting firm to: 

  • Automate bank reconciliations, data entry, and invoice processing
  • Analyze large amounts of data quickly, extracting the needed information
  • Reduce errors and catch fraud quickly

Provide opportunities for yourself and your team to understand new AI tools to help increase productivity and give employees time to focus on value-added tasks. 

How AI Can Help Accountants

With the popular release of the chatbot ChatGPT and subsequent similar AI tools, accountants might be wondering what can AI do for them. They might even be using AI technology already without even realizing it. Implementing AI technology into your business can help you streamline processes, provide better customer service, and automate repetitive tasks. 

Here is just a brief overview of what AI technology can do for accountants:

  • Accountants can use Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology to extract data from scanned documents, like invoices and receipts, and input it into accounting software. You may have access to tools like this within your accounting software already or take a look at the best OCR software of 2023
  • Machine learning algorithms can both categorize expenses and detect patterns of fraud in financial data. This can save time and catch costly mistakes that could harm a business. 
  • Predictive analytics can help forecast future trends in revenue, expenses, and other financial metrics. This supports better decision-making and business development. 
  • Accountants can extract key information and insights from contracts, leases, and large documents using Natural Language Processing (NLP) technology. 
  • On the less technical side, accountants can use chatbots like ChatGPT to draft marketing materials, brainstorm social media ideas, and more. 

A Word of Caution with Accounting Digitalization

With all this amazing technology comes a greater responsibility for accountants and finance professionals to improve data security. Utilizing cloud computing systems requires that you implement the right steps to keep your client’s information safe. 

Technology-savvy accountants are investing heavily in data encryption, multi-factor, authentication, and security measures to protect client data. 

There are so many exciting things happening with digitalization and AI in the accounting industry. These tools are meant to enhance, not replace, jobs, so utilize them to increase customer satisfaction, provide expert services, and save your company money.

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