How Your Company Can Address Its Accounting Technology Needs

By Robert Half on August 28, 2019 at 8:30am

As new accounting technology provides the business world with more strategic insights and innovative tools, as well as improved risk management, accounting and finance professionals are getting swept up in the digital revolution.

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

The Benchmarking Accounting & Finance Functions: 2019 report shows how technological change is now a constant in most accounting and finance workflows. An increasing number of U.S. respondents — 79% — 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 your organization, like others, struggles to find finance professionals with the tech skills it needs. Technology is cited as the hardest-to-find skillset in accounting and finance job candidates. Luckily, there are ways you can help your company build its wheelhouse of accounting technology to succeed in this workplace of the future:

1. Provide professional development

Training and development are excellent investments for employers and their employees. And in this era of increasing accounting technology, digital tools and changing business priorities, they’re becoming more urgent, too. Companies can upskill their teams by offering seminars and classes, either in person or online.

The key is to think of this professional development process as an ongoing one. Continuous learning will need to be far deeper, more frequent and more targeted in this age of advanced accounting technology.

2. Work with trade associations

Several organizations hold conferences and summits that focus on accounting technology and big data. Your team can gain valuable information by attending presentations, asking questions of industry experts and networking with professionals.

You might start by looking at the offerings of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), which has continuing professional education (CPE) and certificate programs in specialties such as data analytics and blockchain fundamentals. The Institute of Management Accountants (IMA) also has webinars and online courses on topics such as Accountancy in the Digital Age.

3. Reach out to a recruitment firm

Whether you’re after people with technological aptitudes or functional job skills, you may want to seek outside help in bringing in temporary or full-time workers with such expertise. Specialized staffing agencies have access to a wide array of top-notch financial talent and can save you much of the time and trouble that comes along with scouring resumes and vetting applicants in order to hire the candidate or bring in the consultant who best suits your company’s needs.

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 information and services to the workplace. Job automation is changing the way we work, and emerging technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) and automation 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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