How Technology Is Changing The Way We Do Accounting

Change is the only thing that remains constant in life. Whether it’s to adapt to the latest operational paradigms or mitigate unprecedented business disruptors, professionals across various industries find themselves faced with many new changes, most of which are driven by frontier technologies like AI, machine learning, and more.

Accounting isn’t exempted in this regard. As a profession, the scope of accounting has gone well beyond just payroll and bookkeeping. Similar to its partner procurement, it is taking on an increasingly strategic role among forward-thinking organisations. Although some experts predict that only a bleak future awaits the world of accounting in tomorrow’s digital world, frontier technologies like automation, advanced analytics, and cloud-based data management are set to further elevate and empower accountants to greater heights.

Exploring Technology’s Supportive Role In Accountancy

Industry leaders were convinced back in 2015 that emerging technologies, especially automation, would spell the end of accountancy. In more recent times, a 2019 survey involving accountants asked them about how automation has affected their profession. The results revealed their worries about having fewer opportunities to exercise their creative problem-solving, their overdependence on technology to accomplish daily tasks, and overall feeling of being replaced.

And yet, after everything that has transpired between then and today, it only goes to show that accountancy, like other professions, should ideally be more concerned about adaptation instead of replacement. Without a doubt, digital transformation has significantly changed the playing field, and Big Data has become a goldmine that must be tapped into more proficiently to become more competitive. However, for businesses that are prepared to leverage the full potential of these technologies, this shift will ideally be seen as a great opportunity rather than a threat.

Leveraging Frontier Technologies

Centralised data management via cloud technology considerably minimises waste and costs by improving collaboration and communication within an organisation. A cohesive datasphere and standardisation make capturing, accessing, sharing, and analysing data much easier. Moreover, transparency is greatly enhanced by dismantling data silos, which leads to data quality rising with data quantity.

Likewise, automation lowers cost and increases efficiency by taking care of time-consuming and tedious manual labour like data entry while also eliminating the odds of human error. It enables straight-through processing and frees up accountants instead of replacing them so they can focus more on strategic tasks that demand creativity, ingenuity, and collaboration—services that AI cannot reliably provide.

However, AI is more than capable of taking care of the brunt of analysis work. By converting raw data into manageable formats and making the connections between different data sources, AI can engage in a symbiotic relationship with humans and play a supporting role that serves up “whats” they can refine into “whys” and “hows.”

For instance, accountants can make use of their human skills in converting insights derived from quality data into effective financial reporting and planning. In integrated environments, they can engage and collaborate with colleagues from other departments to make the most of financial data to build more agile and resilient supply chains, create business management plans for growth and continuity, and push for more innovation.

Accountants of the Near Future Will Only Be More Creative, Strategic, and Relevant

The job description and skill set of tomorrow’s accountants are only set to expand further while still adhering to the profession’s core competencies. With the support of technology in collaborative environments, accounting teams will eventually be composed of subject matter experts from various departments and qualified accounting professionals.

Moreover, accountants in the coming years could very well play an advisory role thanks to their capacity to leverage data management tools to contextualise and humanise spent data for the C-level and enable them to make decisions based on long-term value instead of just ROI.

With their diversified skills and greater technical acumen, the next generation of accountants can utilise their skills to aid teams in other business units and provide them with critical financial intelligence, refine their budgets, or ensure they maintain compliance.

As a function, accountancy may evolve to prioritise more on core competencies that have growth potential over time and less on refining one’s skills via certifications. These competencies may focus on long-term education and skill development necessary for taking on complex and dynamic business environments.

Automation and other emerging technologies are poised to unfetter accountants rather than constrain them. Businesses that understand the importance and potential of these technologies— and choose to invest in the proper tools and training to help their accountants take full advantage of them— will be one step ahead of their competitors. And as mentioned earlier, tomorrow’s accountants are bound to play a more creative and strategic role in their organisations, which will lead to the latter enjoying more efficient workflows and useful insights from their accounting as well as strengthening their agility, resiliency, and competitive posture.


Being in step with the latest technological advancements in the accounting industry, Express Corporate Services is the number one accounting firm in Singapore you can trust for all your corporate service needs, from accounting and bookkeeping to international incorporation and more. No matter your business requirements, you can trust that we’ll have tailored solutions that match your needs and expectations. To learn more details, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us today!