You hear a lot of talk about digital transformation, cloud computing, and the like. Well known and relatively well understood, these are well-researched and discussed ad nauseum by technology companies and analysts. But what’s next?
It’s a question on a variety of leaders’ minds—especially now that companies are beginning to get back to normal. Many are looking to do more with less, providing the accuracy and up to date information needed to run a business.
Common Attributes of Tomorrow’s Accounting Technology
Luckily, a recent article in Accounting Web explored just some of the key drivers behind tomorrows investments. Featuring insights from technology futurist and accounting industry thought leader Ian Khan, the article took a different approach than the “definitive list of technologies,” rather noting the common attributes of a future-ready organization.
From convergent accounting to the role of blockchain in establishing trust, here are seven drivers that should be discussed with IT departments in coming years.
It seems so simple; eliminate doubt and ensure the information you have is accurate. But it’s a rare commodity in today’s business landscape. Khan notes that the trust-based economy will be driven by the use of blockchain technology.
“Blockchain is considered to be a trust enabler because it eliminates the need to doubt transactions, data, and the validity of information. Think about which technologies help you build trust with your clients and provide them with comfort, convenience and peace of mind. That is where you need to invest your time and energy.”
The Use of Algorithms to Improve Accounting
Something we’ve discussed in our article on the evolving KPIs used by organizations, getting computers to work the way you want them to will require the right input. Algorithms help bring together a variety of data to inform a computer how to do a task. Khan notes,
“Algorithms are powering the world of technology today and will continue to become more complex to serve the equally complex needs of systems that run on artificial intelligence and other complicated ideas.”
If you’ve shopped for technology, you already know that automation has been a key talking point over the past few years. Automation reduces human error and increases speed—but basic automation is only the beginning:
“Automation within technology is about accelerating the pace of getting to the end results. Automation can happen in multiple stages, including processing information, analyzing data, fast tracking audits, detecting fraud quickly and so on.”
Much like automation, integration and convergence has been a talking point as well. Built on bringing together a variety of technologies using APIs, convergent accounting represents the next era, when integrations expand beyond software into new fields.
Khan adds that accountants and controllers can expect new levels of depth into the way they work. What started with augmented reality has continued to provide new levels of depth and clarity. Understanding how your business is going to work with suppliers, customers, employees, and more—and plan an approach for connecting to people where they need to connect.
New Uses for Blockchain
Driven by demands for trust, blockchain will continue to evolve into something Khan calls tokenized accounting. When traditional money is impacted by crypto in the future and tokens have change the way we access and buy assets, commodities and services, the way we do business will have fundamentally altered.
If the past year has shown us anything, it’s that we’re no longer tethered to a desk. Cell phones and tablets evolve, the technology serving data has evolved, and accounting will need to evolve as well. Khan notes,
“As an accounting professional, it is your responsibility and obligation to be future ready by understanding the environment in which you conduct business, the environment in which your clients live, and the environment in which trade, commerce and business is being conducted . Technology will continue to play a very dominant role in business and in our personal lives going forward, and it is highly unlikely that this pace will ever slow down.”
Stay Ahead of the Trends with Advice from Fellow Controllers
With so much changing in the accounting world, controllers need to stay ahead of the changes. The Controllers Council is here to help. As a leading community for controllers, we are excited to provide benchmarking and discussions on how to run your department, and invite you to join us. Get to know more about the benefits of joining the Controllers Council and join today!