Technology is driving change

The accounting and bookkeeping professions are set for a shake-up. New technology, new software, and new regulations mean the role of accountants and bookkeepers is ready for an overhaul.

In a time of Artificial intelligence, automation, cloud accounting, Open Banking and Making Tax Digital, there are big transformations happening in the accountancy and bookkeeping professions and in turn this is creating huge opportunities for the businesses they serve.

Financial information is flowing faster and freer than ever. Greater access to data, automation of processes and integration of software and tools is putting more power at the fingertips of key decision makers inside businesses, allowing for more responsive and better-informed decisions.

Artificial intelligence and machine learning in software and apps promise to unearth far greater insights than manual analysis can currently offer. This coupled with increasing automation of processes will reduce the time spent doing manual tasks and allow for resources and expertise to be concentrated on new value-adding projects.

Cloud Accounting packages such as Xero and QuickBooks are bringing together these capabilities and offering businesses access to these accounting services from anywhere and at any time.  These developments will clearly have wide-ranging and transformative effects.

Transformation of cashflow management

Cashflow management is currently a critical problem for small businesses. Of SME failure, over 80% is due to cashflow problems and chasing late payments is the single biggest task that finance teams spend their time on.

Having a reliable cashflow forecast is critical for a business in order to make financial decisions, but this isn’t something that many business owners currently have access to. Their financial advisor may be able to provide a cashflow forecast but it’s complex to produce in Excel, and it’s out of date as soon as it’s produced. Getting cash into the business on time can also present a problem; credit control is time-consuming and difficult to keep organised.

The result is uncertainty about the financial future, and this is not only bad for the business but also business owners’ state of mind. Being unsure about the amount of cash in the business due to late payments is cited as a key reason for stress amongst business owners.

Fluidly is using technology to change all that, offering both credit control and automated cashflow forecasts powered by AI. Fluidly provides a complete cashflow management system that can help financial advisors provide confidence, certainty and control around cashflow to their clients.

This could be particularly transformative for small business owners who may have previously relied on intermittent, or even annual, access to financial reporting, analysis and forecasting. The prospect of having real-time and month-end reports could be very welcome to many.

Intelligent cashflow management is one area that can be transformed by technology, and there are plenty of others. The proliferation of new technology, software and regulation, promise to offer many exciting opportunities for accountants and bookkeepers. The challenge for the finance profession is to adapt with the technology and use it to augment their relationships and services with clients.

Fluidly are a Bookkeepers Summit bronze sponsor and you can meet them on 26th and 27th November by booking your tickets here.