2019 is an exciting time in the bookkeeping and accounting industry. Technology is transforming the industry is a number of exciting ways.
We can expect to see changes in the way accountants and bookkeepers do business and changing expectations of clients.
In this article, we’ll discuss 4 of the biggest trends in bookkeeping technology expected for this year.
Automation + Cloud Accounting
Cloud accounting was a big trend for 2018 and is going to continue to grow this year. With this growth comes an even bigger trend: automation. The cloud accounting app ecosystem is growing rapidly and there are now thousands of add-on apps that can help automate so many of our bookkeeping processes.
We are beginning to see the possibility of an entirely automated bookkeeping workflow. However, there are risks to this trend, including app fatigue. With so many apps now available, clients and businesses may not be as willing to explore new technologies, simply because there is too much out there.
Another risk is that with all this new automation technology, client’s expectations are going to grow. Being able to manage these expectations is extremely important. For example, having a plan to brief clients and set expectations for how applications work during the onboarding process and being in contact with people behind the applications.
Machine learning (AI) adoption – code-free processes
The adoption of AI, big data, machine learning is something we are seeing across all industries, but we can expect to see more of it in bookkeeping and accounting.
More specifically, bookkeeping is headed into the direction of code-free processes such as with data entry and transaction coding.
Blockchain technology, similar to AI adoption, is coming not just into the bookkeeping/accounting industry but also into many other industries.
For bookkeeping specifically, blockchain provides clarity over ownership of assets and existence of obligations, and could dramatically improve efficiency.
The industry is seeking a greater emphasis on data security and one way that is being introduced is through open banking. Earlier in the year, the EU introduced Open Banking as an initiative to target leading banks. It has since expanded globally.
The concept of open banking is that is makes your financial information available to third parties electronically and securely, under conditions that the customer approves of.It provides customers with a much more holistic view of their finance.
Customers can have more freedom over their data and its easier and more convenient for both customers and bookkeepers to access data. As a result, bookkeepers can monitor cash flow better and give clients support, and advice on key financial decisions.