While some accountants decry the increasing dependence on technology in the accounting and finance fields, I, personally, I prefer to have some technology involved.
Just think about it: At the beginning of my career, things were still being processed through the ledger paper in the Big Four.
But technology, thankfully, has eliminated calculators, paper ledgers, and pencils. It’s also helped lower the margin for error because it makes mistakes easier to find and correct. Then, of course, there’s the benefit of speed and efficiency. There’s no better perk than getting a job done faster and more accurately.
Writing for ICAS.com, CPA Nick Huber says, “Software is as indispensable to accountants as a trowel is to a bricklayer – and it’s changing faster than it has for a decade.” As for what, specifically, those new and soon-to-be released changes mean, he explains:
“Accountants and business are demanding more from their software. More analysis, more interaction between an accountant and their client, and easier access to information when out of the office – and a burst of innovation is well overdue, according to Giles Mooney,a chartered accountant and tax writer. He says that some tax software has remained largely unchanged for a couple of decades, aside from updates for changes to tax law.”
Although upgraded software and technology–as well as general ledger systems, sub ledger systems and consolidation systems–will make our lives easier, accounting does require a certain level of judgement to be placed (i.e. cash flow statement, impairment testing, etc).
Sure Clients can utilize a cell phone to take a photograph of their receipts and append it to their tax form using FreeAgent, which simplifies bookkeeping. But there’s still a self-appraisal process, not to mention the potential security risks. The other to keep in mind is that the creation of the pronouncements and the disclosures in the publicly filed documents, not to mention the earnings releases, still require the sign off of a human reviewer.
Ask me, “Kewho, has technology replaced human accountants?” in 25 years, though, and I might have a completely different take.