The Covid-19 pandemic has had an effect on just about everything, including our economic and political systems.
Accounting leaders and their teams are optimistic that the finance and accounting sectors prepared for future scenarios, like more lockdowns or additional restrictions. disruptions before they happen.
One prediction in technology that is currently being implemented is to solve Covid’s immediate challenges. These will be embraced by organizations, and their customers, for the enhanced efficiencies and cost-savings they bring.
Here are some of the top predictions in finance and accounting.
One thing is for sure, automation will never replace accountants. Automation has brought many changes to the accounting field over the last decade. While some tools have made some lives easier, others have chipped away at their roles as startups. However, to address the automation side, basic routine, rule-based tasks will be automated. Financial leaders are making investments in cloud computing and software, despite what happens with the future of automation.
Since the pandemic, almost all businesses had their employees work remotely. Successful remote working is a two-part process. First, CFOs must commit to providing the right technology tools to their staff. Second, they must collaborate among individual teams and cross-function throughout the organization. Lack of in-person contact can make employee engagement and productivity suffer. It is important for CFOs to build and maintain corporate culture with the help of both HR and IT. Employers must have a virtual open-door policy with employees and all stakeholders of the organization.
Upskilling is the call-to-action.
A global study was recently conducted with finance and accounting professionals, posing questions related to Covid impacts on staffing, revenue management, upskilling and reskilling. A key finding of the survey was the concern by finance and accounting professionals about whether their current professional skills will still be relevant in the post-Covid-19 era—12% of survey respondents believe their skills won’t be relevant, and another 10% are unsure. In this context, it is clear why professional associations like IMA are emphasizing the importance of continuous learning and offering courses in data analytics, blockchain and other technologies, as a way of helping professionals gain the skills they need to compete in the new post-Covid world of work.
2021 will see the emergence of the post-Covid economy, where Mergers & Acquisitions will be back on the rise, and finance leaders will have the strongest business case yet for investment in technologies like intelligent automation, RPA, data analytics and blockchain. There will be more opportunities for them to prove that they can add value to an organization beyond reporting and disclosure. Today’s finance function, which is pivoting from value stewardship to value creation, requires finance professionals to constantly upskill and acquire competencies related to communication, decision making and leadership. 2021 will be the finance professional’s time to shine in this regard.
Cloud computing has become the go to for most businesses these days, even before the pandemic began. With the accounting systems hosted on the cloud, a majority of companies have gained the ease of accessing their digitally hosted system anytime and from any place. Platforms like Quickbooks, Sage, Freshbooks and other cloud software have streamlined and enhanced the work quality.
Big Data has always been the preference of financial experts and accountants whenever it comes to resorting to crucial accounting task completion. Accounting firms use it as a support form of expanded assessment. It is imperative in transforming vital internal data sets into dynamic, secure data analysis.
The accounting industry can add tremendous value in this new world by leaning into their advisory role. It is pivotal to maintaining a client’s business, which supports employees’ livelihoods and helps economic recovery. Technology plays a huge role in advising, problem-solving and business strategy accountants already do on a daily basis.