How much potential does cloud accounting have?
It’s not easy to predict the future, but cloud and mobile look set to play a large role in business over the next decade. Whilst a lot remains unclear, it’s almost certain that these trends will affect accountants.
The largest banks in the UK have already made promises to make their technology more accessible. The idea is to make banking far more open, which in turn, will give people more control when it comes to their finances. Ian Cooper, a project manager at Thomson Reuters stated that a ‘door is being opened for accountants.’ Whilst that may be true, the greater levels of accessibility also represent a challenge. Utilising the technology will need to be done in a way that’s customer friendly. If people end up with countless apps on their phones and tables for different steps, cloud accounting may struggle to become part of everyday life.
There’s no denying that the potential for cloud accounting is huge, and in the future cloud computing could work hand in hand with machine learning to provide more data. With machine learning, consumers will be able to use their voice to give computers demands, something which is already built into phones. The hope is that it will also make its way into financial software which would make it far easier for accountants to access client information.
With greater levels of data and the opportunity cloud computing represents, we could start to see the role of the accountant shift towards being more of a trusted adviser. With cloud computing, an accountant would be able to tell their phone to send their clients a request for their monthly income. The client would then be notified of the request on their device.
More data, along with the fact that the cloud allows accountants to carry out their work in real-time, should make it easier to provide more useful and timely services. This could include everything from advice to real-time reporting and even helping clients plan for growth.
In addition to changing the role of the accountant, mobile and cloud computing could result in more flexible working for accountants. By moving to a digital operation, it makes it far easier to work remotely, and with the ability to work in real-time, clients will receive a more extensive and far more useful service.
Its success will come down to how much accountants are willing to embrace any potential changes, but for now, at least, the benefits of cloud accounting greatly outweigh the drawbacks.