Even with the widespread impact of technology on the business world today, few industries have felt the effects as much as accounting. This is due to the data-driven nature of this work – CPAs and other professionals rely on information, and leveraging technology to improve data collecting, sharing and storing data in all aspects of the accounting industry.
To stay ahead of the curve, accountants must understand the new trends in technology, and how they will affect the profession.
Today’s top technology trends that improve efficiency
The trends shaping the accounting industry today will benefit professionals in a number of ways over the coming year. One of the biggest improvements will be related to efficiency – new technology can not only make the job easier, but it will streamline operations and improve client relations.
In an article for WIRED’s “Innovation Insights,” Jeremy Roche outlines five of the top technology trends facing the accounting industry:
- Cloud computing
- Social collaboration
- Mobile devices
- Real-time analytics
- Rise of the shared computing environment
These trends are great for streamlined business operations. Take the cloud, for example. This remote data storage and sharing network has been one of the biggest boosts to efficiency in recent memory. Users can upload information to the cloud and access it from anywhere, on any device, whether at the office, at a client site, or working from home. This trend has been driven by cost savings, but it also allows businesses to be more flexible and adaptable.
Using big data and analytics to improve decision-making
Another key trend on Roche’s list involves analytics. For the accounting industry, success often hinges on access to data and the ability to piece together information to make educated decisions.
Technology helps, and using analytical tools will improve business efficiency by reducing research time, aggregating information to form trends and saving money. According to the Pennsylvania Institute of CPAs, big data is another trend changing the accounting industry.
In terms of efficient business operations, CPAs should turn to big data for:
- Information – Analytics will help any professional learn current events and understand future trends.
- Diagnosis – Analytics can save time by outlining what has happened and why.
- Prediction – Analytics can help professionals determine what will happen in the future.
- Solution – Analytics can highlight the ideal solution moving forward.
Technology has its grip on the accounting industry. In 2015, it is likely that new devices, tools and resources will allow for easier collaboration, information sharing, data storage and much more, all improving the business efficiency of today’s professionals.
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