Cloud software as well as other technological developments are changing the role of accountants forever. Accountants are becoming less number crunchers and more creative advisors, looking for new ways to help their clients’ bottom line. Cloud pioneer Xero “found that 83% of accountants believe that an understanding of technology is now as important as knowledge of the trade itself,” and those accountants who continue doing the same old thing done for the last 100 years will find themselves obsolete.
Many of these developments are technological, but technology influences the accounting business itself and what clients expect. Here are some important developments both in technology and business which accountants must consider in order to keep clients and stay ahead of the times.
The Rise of Blockchain
Blockchain is a digital ledger of economic transactions which is impossible to hack and completely transparent. Some tech enthusiasts believe that it could completely obsolete accounting and auditing as we know it. Instead of private financial databases where buyer and seller record a transaction separately and which an auditor checks for accuracy, blockchain records the transaction instantly in a shared ledger that cannot be altered afterwards. As the transaction is shared in the open, there is no need for a third-party to check it for accuracy.
At minimum, auditors and accountants must understand the potential and problems with blockchain, and study it in greater detail so they know how it could be used. The fact that capital market spending on blockchain has grown exponentially over the past few years indicates that many financial businesses understand its importance.
Knowledge of Cloud Software
Cloud software is more popular than before, but there is a staggering array of cloud accounting software which businesses can use. Intuit QuickBooks is by far the most popular. But there is also Xero, Wave, Zoho, FreshBooks, NetSuite, and about a…