These days, it’s as important for an accountant to be as good with technology as they are with numbers. Tech-savvy finance professionals with strong IT skills (and not just Microsoft Excel, though still very important) and the ability to analyse data and find stories beyond the numbers are increasingly sought after by employers.
The Accountancy Cloud is an accountancy practice based in London that provides tech start-ups with solutions for accounting and support for funding. Here, founder Wesley Rashid explains the importance of technology for the modern accountant and how it can benefit both the profession and clients.
Why is it important for a modern accountant to be technologically aware and capable?
Love it or hate it, technology is ever changing and accountants are now expected to stay up to date with these advances in order to keep their clients happy. The ones that are capable are the ones that stay connected with their clients and adopt a proactive approach, the ones that stay retrospective – well, its time to pack up your calculator and pen.
How do you increase your technological competency?
I'm presuming most students are of the millennial generation, those who are used to using tech every day. Increase your competency by getting out there and attending meet ups, using social channels and surfing the web – there's lots of information to digest online, even on Facebook and Twitter.
What specific doors can being tech savvy open for an accountant?
Technology makes accountancy practices as user-friendly for staff and clients as possible, reducing fixed costs in running the practice and a need for clients to see them as tech-friendly. So there are lots of opportunities for the tech-savvy accountant. Look at us – accountants for tech start ups using tech to offer real time financial analysis and support for tech start ups so they can make quick decisions and grow faster. This has a massive impact on client satisfaction.
Where and how do you see technology changing the accounting profession?
Accountants and tax professionals will become advisers and software specialists. Focus is on cloud and harnessing good data to provide clients with sound advice, and automate processes – thus giving you more time to add value to the client’s bottom line.
Is technology making accounting/accountants more innovative or the other way round?
Yes, the ability of using the right tech tools will create profitability for both the firm and the client. Drilling down to data, automating processes such as auto-population of tax and VAT returns and collaboration by use of cloud accounting packages can speed things up and leave the accountant open to spending time on what they do best.
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