5 Reasons Accountants Should Embrace Automation, Not Fear It
Fear is the belief that something dangerous or unpleasant can or will happen. Not knowing how accounting automation works or what it is capable of doing can cause fear in individuals and even entire industries.
To get around that fear, here are five reasons why accountants should embrace automation:
1. Job proficiency
One of the top fears of automation in the accounting industry relates to job security. An accountant may fear that their job could be replaced by a machine that can outperform their day-to-day work in a matter of seconds, but automation in the accounting industry is all about adaptability.
With automation, an accountant can apply their expertise and expand their skillset to add value in different areas. Since accountants already know the ins and outs of how the books work, they can harness their knowledge to provide next-level services in business analytics, consultation and advisory roles. It’s just a matter of embracing that change to align with the firm’s growing needs.
Automation is often associated with mass production, where huge quantities are produced in a small amount of time. The same can be said about automating accounting tasks that may be deemed repetitive or tedious.
Automated accounting software can cut down time spent on accounting work such as expense processing, payroll administration, billing transactions and bank reconciliations. Automation can even streamline the accounting process by taking existing transactions and creating audit reports, financial statements and file reviews. With the efficiency automation provides, accountants and auditors can take advantage of the extra time and resources to take on more complex and analytical work.
With automation comes accuracy. Since the automation process relies on automated machines or procedures, it will eliminate the margin of human error. Accounting errors such as duplicate transactions, missing fields and unreconciled statements can all be caught using automation.
For example, let’s say you’re reviewing last year’s books and forgot to depreciate the office computers. You will have to make the adjusting journal entry, post it to the general ledger, adjust the trial balance, then correct any errors on your balance sheet and income statement.
Manually completing each of these steps increases the chances of human error, whether it be entering incorrect information or missing a step entirely. However, with automated accounting software, you can enter the adjusting journal entry once and it will automatically update each subsequent step with the exact same information.
4. Cost savings
In order for a business to continuously operate, one of the most important driving factors is the bottom line. Operation costs can drastically decrease with the dual benefits of efficiency and accuracy. If more work is produced error free at faster rates, the less number of billable hours are required to perform an audit and identify any issues.
Not only can automation increase cost savings from producing repetitive work, it can also help forecast work. In specialized accounting and auditing software such as Caseware Working Papers and Caseware Audit, you can use tools that forecast account balances and display how much time is used in specific areas of an audit. Accountants can analyze these trends, reallocate efforts, and optimize decision making today for a more profitable outcome tomorrow.
5. Customer experience
Combine the benefits of job proficiency, efficiency, accuracy and cost savings, and you can end up creating the ultimate customer experience. If an accountant performs an audit for a client using automated accounting software, the accountant can provide value-added services in addition to the confirmation of regulatory compliance.
With the amount of time saved from the efficiency and accuracy of automation, an accountant can use their realigned job proficiency to focus on analyzing how the client’s business functions to provide better recommendations. Accountants can then guide clients through areas of their business that require more or less attention to enhance their overall business operations and cost-effectiveness.
Technological advancements in every industry are inevitable, it’s just a matter of understanding the changes and adapting to new environments. Don’t fear automation, embrace it.