The emerging technology trends are encouraging businesses to move towards automation. Today, many business owners run operations with remote teams by leveraging project management and video conferencing tools. Similarly, they use accounting software and real-time data to handle all money-related matters. In addition to offering a strong financial standing, technological innovations are significantly improving business efficiency.
At the same time, job roles and responsibilities are also evolving in this modern era. Since artificial intelligence and machine learning are overtaking repetitive tasks, employees must acquire new business skills to remain competitive. Marketers have to master the art of digital marketing, whereas the accountant’s role has gone beyond crunching numbers and bookkeeping. As an accountant, you have to wade through analytical tools and big data to make calculated decisions.
More than preparing financial statements, you have to position yourself as a strategic voice in the organization. Do you know how to keep up with evolving business environments? If not, have a look below. Here we are unfolding five tips to become a successful accountant in today’s data-driven world.
1. Use Non-financial Data
Undoubtedly, financial data has been the cornerstone of every accountant’s work. But in this data-driven world, it only tells one part of the story, i.e., the company’s financial performance. As more data has become available, accountants should use it to augment financial insights further. If you don’t know how to apprehend and analyze data, learn the ropes. Besides the short courses, you can opt for Master of Accountancy to develop advanced analytical accounting skills.
It would help you recognize unusual customer patterns to detect fraud and suspicious activity. As a result, you can create a ‘provision for doubtful debts’ account to resonate with accounting’ core ‘prudence’ principle. Likewise, you can delve into supplier data to anticipate shipment information and prepare accurate budget forecasts. Believe it or not, but including this data injects additional value to financial insights.
2. Utilize Tech-friendly Tools
As an accountant, you no longer have to compile receipts, prepare budgets, or draft financial statements. Instead, you have to punch in the numbers or business transactions, and savvy accounting tools manage everything else. From forecasting yearly budgets, drafting balance sheets to schedule creditor’s payments – accounting solutions form the foundation for success. Thus, tap into technology’s full potential to drive business success and growth.
Moreover, you can collect financial and operational data from multiple departments and systems with tech-savvy tools. In addition to saving time, it will help you stay on top of financial reporting protocols. Besides, you can also use tax management software to save the hassle of calculating quarterly and annual tax payments.
3. Learn to Perform Diagnostic Analysis
Unsurprisingly, accountants have to keep an eagle eye on the flow of money in their organization. Whether it is inventory, revenue, or sales tax – they have to monitor changes and identify patterns. Since this process is quite time-consuming, accountants can perform a diagnostic analysis to evaluate historical performance. It might sound plain sailing but requires proficient data analytical skills. Thus, either hire a data analyst or determine how to become a data scientist to glean meaning from mountains of information.
It would display variances in data over time to help you understand the cause and effect of financial assets. Similarly, it examines the cause of past results. For instance, if the company suffered losses in 2010, the diagnostic analysis would identify the elements behind it. It could have been a higher cost of raw material, excessive returns, or higher expenses. Most importantly, you can also detect high-risk business transactions with the help of diagnostic analysis. After all, past trends and behavior can unfold useful insights.
4. Adopt Cloud-based Accounting
Cloud is becoming a popular medium for accounting services. It helps accountants reduce the time from analysis to insights, fostering profitability and business growth. Likewise, it offers real-time financial reporting and visibility throughout the organization. Accountants can access data from anywhere at any time, helping business owners make the right decisions.
Unlike conventional programs, cloud accounting automatically updates financial information, which means the account balances will always be accurate. It also manages multi-currency transactions, which can come in super handy if you import raw materials. Above all, it offers top-notch security protocols to keep your financial data secure from all potential cyberattacks.
5. Look down the Road
With increasing economic uncertainty, the business infrastructure also becomes volatile. The investments and financial securities doing wonders yesterday can lead to significant losses in the future. Therefore, accountants have to bring a proactive change by making things more predictable. Here, you can leverage predictive analytics to anticipate financial trends. It uses market trends and identifies patterns in historical data to predict future outcomes.
For instance, if the government increases the money supply, it will automatically alert the organization about rising future interest rates. Thus, accountants can make more informed decisions regarding external financing, closing doors for hefty interests, and repayments. Furthermore, accountants can also use predictive analysis to build accurate budget forecasts.
Understanding the role of accountants and data analytics is at the forefront of accounting education in the 21st century. After all, having a knack for numbers and data is not enough to become a successful accountant. You have to join hands with data and analytical tools to progress in this data-driven world. Therefore, familiarize yourself with predictive analysis, use savvy tools, and reap the benefits of non-financial data.