How Your Company Can Address Its Accounting Technology Needs

By Robert Half November 1, 2017 at 10:00am

It’s no secret accounting technology is revolutionizing the business world with the strategic insights, innovative tools and improved risk management it provides.

The problem with revolutions, though, is that they move quickly, and accounting and finance executives and those they oversee may not keep up with the changes, demands and challenges of emerging technologies.

The Benchmarking Accounting & Finance Function: 2019 report shows how technological change is now a constant in most accounting and finance functions. An increasing number — 79% — of U.S. respondents said their companies already use or plan to employ cloud solutions, and businesses of all sizes have widened their embrace of automation in areas such as financial reporting.

Research conducted for Robert Half’s Jobs and AI Anxiety report found that 29% of accounting and finance managers in the United States expect their organization to use automation, including robotics in accounting, in the next five years. The respondents also ranked automation as one of the top three disruptive technologies in their workplace over the next five years.

There’s a good chance the financial professionals at your organization don’t have all the digital expertise they need to succeed in this workplace of the future. Here are three ways your company can build its wheelhouse of accounting technology skills:

1. Refine college recruitment

Most college accounting programs today teach data analytics and big data skills. The problem, though, is that educational institutions are also playing catch-up with emerging technology. Consider contacting universities to find out exactly what their accounting departments are teaching before you target their seniors and recent graduates.

2. Provide access to tech education

Professional training and development is an excellent investment for employers and their employees, and in this era of increasing accounting technology and changing business priorities, it is becoming more urgent, too.

You can provide this “upskilling” through web-based or on-site learning programs. Other ways of introducing new concepts could be through lunch-and-learn sessions, mentoring and job shadowing.

3. Attend industry events

Several groups hold conferences and summits that focus on accounting technology and big data. While online courses and programs are valuable, there is nothing like sitting in on live presentations, asking questions of industry experts and networking with like-minded professionals.

The revolution in accounting technology is still in its infancy. Organizations have shifted from a state of data scarcity to data abundance, with the cloud delivering more data and more services to the workplace. Job automation is changing the way we work, and emerging technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) are driving innovation.

So, now is a great time to invest in accounting technology and the people who can make sense of this flood of information and put it to use. If you need help with the people part, just let us know.

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