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How Automation is Changing the Game for Today’s Accountants

In 2024, accountants will no longer be deemed company number crunchers as they gain access to technology that allows them to play an increasingly strategic role in business decisions. It’s a role transformation that’s already begun, sparked by the accelerated adoption of digital accounting, fueled by cloud computing, automation, and AI.

For bookkeepers, day-to-day functions are changing, along with expectations. To survive and thrive, they must adapt, sharpen dormant skills, and learn new ones.

Is your team ready? Keep reading to find out how:


  1. Automation empowers accountants of the future
  2. Future accountants will be more strategic
  3. Future accountants will be more creative
  4. Future accountants will be more collaborative
  5. Future accountants will be more valuable




Automation empowers future accountants

The accounting profession has undergone unprecedented change over a few short years. First, the pandemic fast-tracked digital transformation, from cloud computing to remote work and automation.

This year, talent shortages have squeezed capacity, causing finance teams to wrestle with burnout, retention, and loss of knowledge. At the same time, accountants empowered by automation and AI have emerged from the back office to influence — and make — business-critical decisions.

Freed from time-consuming manual processes, accountants are reimagining their roles. As a result, their jobs are becoming more rewarding. Adaptable, flexible, and curious, they’re poised to be the secret superpower that accelerates business growth. Here’s how.

 


 


Future accountants will be more strategic

No longer struggling to balance books manually, accountants will embrace change, becoming tax, regulatory, security, and compliance thought leaders.

They’ll take advantage of having more time to join conversations at virtual events, in-person meetings, digital forums, and online groups. Networking will help them debate ongoing challenges and opportunities, including:

Technology consulting: Power users of payments, accounting, and business software, modern accountants are perfectly positioned to create new revenue streams for their firms by auditing and recommending the best financial platforms and integrations for client users. In-house finance teams can use this knowledge to help their companies build efficient tech stacks too.

Security consulting: For accountants at firms looking to expand, who better to offer security services than a top target of cybercriminals who has successfully prevented attacks? From System and Organization Controls (SOC) services to third-party cyber security assessments, offering security services may make trusted practices even more valuable to the businesses they serve.

Sustainability and Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) consulting: Increased regulatory requirements and public awareness are driving investor demand for sustainable practices. Accountants are uniquely qualified to help their companies or clients assess their impacts, improve practices, and maintain compliance.

 


 


Future accountants will be more creative

Creative accounting” may be frowned upon. But creative accountants are the future of the profession.

Finance teams aren’t growing. Fewer CPAs are entering the workforce. Seasoned staff are retiring. These factors might make next year’s busy season the busiest yet.

The best way to tackle these resource constraints is to get more resourceful.

Early adopters of automation and artificial intelligence, future-focused finance teams are leaning deeper into both technologies. They’re using cutting-edge solutions to take over time-consuming routine tasks and exploring new ways to streamline cash management.

Automated accounts payable (AP) and receivable (AR) processes increase control of cash while eliminating the need to monitor funds manually. It also reduces human errors — and the time and money wasted because of them.

Known for their problem-solving abilities, accountants are natural-born innovators. For accountants serving a book of clients, there are many other ways they can use their innate creativity to attract, engage, and retain them:

Explore data visualization and storytelling: Bring reporting to life. Present your findings in fresh ways. Hold interest when you’re talking about interest. Humanize data to make it more compelling and relevant.

Find your niche: Are many of your clients from the same industry? Do you have a background or interests in specific fields that give your firm an edge? Consider specializing — going deep instead of wide.





 

Future accountants will be more collaborative

Accountants of the future won’t be satisfied with a narrow, by-the-books view of their roles. And they shouldn’t be — new tools and technology already deliver insights with implications beyond the back office.

They’ll increase their influence by walking the halls (even virtual ones), using historical and real-time cash flow data to brainstorm business- and performance-building strategies with peers in other departments:

  • Human resources: Payroll, benefit, and compliance
  • Sales: Packaging and pricing
  • Marketing: Budgeting and ROI
  • Information technology: Software and security
  • Operations: Cost cutting, budgeting, and efficiency
  • Executive leadership: Planning and decision-making

 


 

Future accountants will be more valuable

Luca Pacioli has been called the father of accounting. An Italian mathematician, Franciscan friar, and collaborator of Leonardo da Vinci, Pacioli was the first to publish a work on double-entry bookkeeping.

 

He also wrote a manuscript on chess. Rumor has it, da Vinci provided the illustrations.

 

Next-gen accountants must also combine innovative bookkeeping workflows with open collaboration and next-level strategic thinking.

 

Then they’ll be essential to ensuring the growth, sustainability, and resilience of the businesses they work for and clients they serve.

 

For Plooto customers, the future is now. Try Plooto free for 30 days, and begin your payment automation journey.

 

 

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