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Top Tech Trends To Look Out For In Accountancy

A change of pace in the digital era has produced some fantastic tech-driven solutions for the accounting industry.

2019 is the year of change in the accounting and bookkeeping world. As digital tech advances, organisations are demanding faster data and greater streamlining of processes, with information sharing becoming a top priority. Artificial intelligence certainly plays a part in some of these developments, but there’s still an indisputable need for human accountants to drive forward these changes. Here are some of the latest trends to look out for.

Cash Flow Consulting

An estimated £141 billion is tied up in late payments in the UK, with 50,000 businesses folding as a result of not having enough cash flow to make ends meet. Being paid on time is essential for businesses to survive, which is why accountants are encouraging their clients to invest in cash flow management solutions which offer automated billing and expenses data. Another tip that accountants are passing on, is the need for businesses to introduce electronic payment systems such as Paypal or Stripe, which on average facilitate payments up to 10-20 days faster than manual invoicing with only bank transfers or cheques as payment options.

Open Banking

Another digital trend which is being embraced this year is the switch to open banking. This is the result of a 2018 EU Directive which motivated banks to share secure data with other financial organisations. For example, when open banking is implemented, it allows digital lenders to review bank statements, income slips or business accounts simultaneously, resulting in loan offers and other lending decisions being offered within minutes as opposed to days. Technology such as QuickBooks Online, Sage and Xero have all introduced various features which are being rolled out for accountants to take advantage of across the globe.

Making Tax Digital

Tax is another area of accountancy which has seen a dramatic digital makeover this year with Making Tax Digital already rolled out by HMRC for VAT-registered businesses. This government initiative aims to make it easier for organisations and individuals to keep on top of their tax responsibilities. At the moment, businesses with an annual turnover above the VAT threshold are required to keep digital records of their income and expenses and submit these returns using the Making Tax Digital service. A professional accountancy services Peterborough team explains that this is not yet mandatory for other self-employed individuals, but it’s possible to register to take part in the live Making Tax Digital pilot if you wish. It’s expected that this won’t become compulsory for non-VAT businesses until at least 2020.

The Role Of Artificial Intelligence

As artificial intelligence becomes integrated to some extent in almost every industry, so too has it made an impact in the world of accountancy. With AI accountants such as Botkeeper now available to clients, human accountants can now utilise such machine learning tech to crunch the numbers, whilst providing their own personal and empathetic approach to accountancy.

As we approach the final quarter of 2019, there’s a lot to be excited about when it comes to tech development in the accounting industry. Watch this space to see what 2020 will bring.