Accounting may seem like a field in which few things change, but that’s not true. Not only do accounting rules and regulations change over time, but technology that facilitates accounting and financial management—enterprise resource planning (ERP) software, business intelligence software (BI), and the like—change, too. And with changing technology, staffing needs change too as jobs are added, phased out, and changed to accommodate new technology.
Three Big Changes Impacting Accounting
There are three areas in which technology is impacting accounting and financial management at all size firms.
- Cloud technology: Moving to the cloud is becoming more necessary as new software is often launched on cloud-only platforms. Legacy systems relying upon site licenses may no longer offer updates or support, which can leave your company in the lurch if you aren’t prepared to move to the cloud. On the plus side, cloud technology offers small to mid-sized businesses powerful software and data management services that were once affordable only by large businesses. If shifting to the cloud isn’t something you can do immediately, hybrid models, which embrace partial cloud adoption and continue using some legacy site-based systems, seem to make the most sense.
- Staffing: Companies are finding that staffing needs are constantly shifting thanks to new technologies. Accounting software such as ERP and BI software may eliminate some entry-level accounting positions but mostly require experienced business managers who can read, interpret, and analyze the reports and metrics produced by the software. Many companies are finding that they can outsource senior-level accounting tasks to consulting firms and others who can offer the depth and breadth of experience on a short-term basis. In addition to outsourcing accounting tasks, firms shifting to cloud technology may be able to outsource the IT function as well. Technology is changing the face of staffing in many areas.
- Cybersecurity: You’ve probably noticed an increase in the number of cyber attacks mentioned in the media these days. That’s no coincidence. Cybersecurity continues to be increasingly important in a world connected by email, instant messages, and virtual technology. Cloud-based software such as Sage 100 and Acumatica is often more secure than legacy systems because the companies behind them invest heavily in security for multiple clients, spreading the cost over their product life-cycles.
The Need for Skilled Accountants Remains
Despite the technological advances and promise of bigger and better things from technology, the need for skilled accountants continues. That’s because accounting has many nuances, gray areas if you like, that only someone with experience and intelligence can handle. Automated systems cannot weigh the pros and cons of many of these gray areas the way a skilled CPA or accountant can.
Moving to the cloud, shifting staffing models, and cyber security are just three ways in which technology is changing the face of the accounting department within companies. These changes are also impacting other areas, too. It seems as if the only constant in life these days is change!
Accounting Systems Incorporated (ASI)
Accounting Systems Incorporated (ASI) can help small to mid-sized companies weather the changes affecting technology and business. Software such as Sage 100 and Acumatica ERP can provide a cloud-based approach that’s scalable and secure. For more information, visit our website, or call us at 803-252-6154.