How Technology Fits into an Accounting Firm


They say if you are not adapting to new technology you are falling behind. No one wants to fall behind. You know you need to sharpen or learn new technology skills, maybe even add software to improve performance. So what’s holding you back? 

Are you wondering where you should start? 

Do you feel like you’re not ready to spend the additional funds? 

Are you already knee-deep in running your business and can’t think about adding one more thing to your plate? 

Let me tell you; you are not alone. According to Sage, in their Practice of Now Report 2019, small to medium accounting firms are hesitant to adopt new technology. The accounting firms said; 13% lack time, 38% lack money, while 25% lack expertise. Whatever the reason, it is vital to break past the barriers preventing your company from adopting new technologies.

When asked what will be the driving force behind successful accounting firms?  Justin Hatch, CEO of Reach Reporting, quickly said, “Technology! It allows accountants to shore up their process, decrease wasted time, and increase efficiency and productivity for their clients. Technology showcases the accountant’s hard work while increasing client satisfaction and loyalty.”

New CPA’s & Technological Literacy Skills

Admittedly, 57% of accountants say that it’s essential for those entering the profession to join with an additional amount of “technological literacy skills.”  Added skill sets will be critical for accountants to compete in the future. The rapidly changing technological demands in the accounting industry will demand it. Even during the COVID-19 pandemic, the advancements in technology have not stalled; they have accelerated. 

Upskilling within the Workforce 

For those currently in the workforce, upskilling provides additional training to gain the appropriate skill set needed. Upskilling programs by companies and universities will fill the workplace skill gaps created by new technology. In the years ahead, this gap will only grow.  PricewaterhouseCoopers 2020 analysis surveyed over 200,000 jobs in 29 countries. They found that 30% of jobs will be affected by automation by the mid-2030s.

According to PwC, “The Fourth Industrial Revolution ushered in new business models and new ways of working that require critical new technical, digital and soft skills. Those skills are in short supply. Indeed, the availability of key skills has been a top ten ‘extreme concern’ for the last decade, impeding innovation and prompting higher people costs. Businesses cannot hire their way over this skills gap at a price they can pay, so the imperative is clear. Employers and employees must join hands and invest in upskilling or risk irrelevance.”  

Those companies who have invested in new technology skills have found rewards for their efforts.  Including:

  • Stronger Company Culture
  • Greater Innovation
  • Increased Workforce Productivity
  • Higher Employee Retention

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Technology Tools Make Life Better for Accountants

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

A collection of technologies functioning cohesively to improve job-related processes significantly impacts accounting firms. AI provides a competitive advantage and helps to retain customers as well as employees.

Robotic Process Automation (RPA)

RPA streamlines operations and significantly decreases costs. It completes tedious and time-consuming tasks and speeds up business processes. It allows for greater accuracy and convenience as well. Using RPA reduces risk by minimizing user error and allows instantaneous reporting. These advantages help you recognize any potentially costly mistakes quickly and correct them. It saves time, money and provides insight.   

Natural Language Processing (NLP)

NLP provides fast, affordable analysis of financial data. This tech makes daily reporting possible so companies may quickly make needed updates. NLP allows machines to interpret human language, extract required information, organize and categorize. As an example; Deloitte spends less than a month reviewing hundreds or thousands of legal contracts for clients. In the past, this activity would take nearly six months and a team of dozens of employees. This shows the immense value received from NLP tools.

Cloud Technology

The cloud is an essential tool for accountants.  Research from Sage reports that 67% believe that cloud technology helps their business thrive. They cited client collaboration and improved service offerings as to what has benefitted them most. Eliminating the need to install software on every desktop saves time and money. Employees may access data anytime and almost anywhere in the world.          

Advanced Microsoft Excel Skills

Excel skills will benefit anyone, but especially accountants. It is the workhorse of most accounting and finance firms. A study conducted by Software Advice reports that 19% of job postings on Indeed required Excel. Which is more than any other software in their research. Refine your Excel skills by learning about advanced pivot tables, external data ranges, related functions, the “If” function, and more. These new skills are just the beginning of all that Excel has to offer.

Sage reports that “85% of accountants believe the profession in their country needs to pick up the pace of technology adoption to remain competitive.” The technology industry is providing phenomenal tools to make CPAs so much more efficient. Your mundane tasks can now be automated, allowing you to focus on your most critical work, analysis, and advisory. Take advantage of what is available to add value to both you and your client.  

Final Thoughts

Justin Hatch built a financial reporting software that truly is an accountant’s best friend. We have a glimpse into the future of accounting and what we see is endless possibilities. With that as our vision, we went to work. We created a tool that empowers financial professionals to do their job and then take that complicated spreadsheet and showcase it. Showcase it in a way that both the accountant and their clients find insightful and engaging.

Let Reach Reporting demonstrate the simplest way to deliver understandable data to your clients.

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1 Comment
  1. Nancy Draper

    Impressive well written and presentable web site!

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