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As a result of the ongoing pandemic, 2020 saw technology evolve phenomenally, speeding up several changes in how organisations operate and how people work, live and shop. The need for physically interacting with customers greatly reduced. Outdated machines, calculators, ledgers and pencils are eliminated. New technologies that emerge are slowly creating a new era of automation.
Business and technology is primarily about people and improving their experiences. In the general field of accounting, these could include computer programmes and IT software applications like spreadsheet applications, database systems and accounting packages.
Such technologies have eliminated the number crunchers sitting behind a desk working on clients’ accounts or taxes. They have allowed the accountants to find new ways of automation and accounting hacks with what modern software applications have to offer than decades ago when they relied on a calculator as the primary tool.
As technology advances rapidly and our knowledge of technology increases, so has the core training for accountants. For this reason, ACCA has integrated technologies seamlessly with the accountant’s role in its Business and Technology (BT) course.
Here, we explain the increasingly critical role technology has in the accounting profession and how taking the ACCA’s Business and Technology (BT) course will make you a better accountant/ business consultant in 2021 and the years to come.
Every accountant knows that accounting is the language of business. That language has gone through many changes since the beginning of time. From the invention of the abacus until the first working machine – the calculator, all these have had a huge impact on how the accountant works. But through all the changes, accounting technology has always played a significant role in making the accountant’s job a little easier.
Think about when we were first introduced to programmes such as Microsoft Excel, an electronic spreadsheet that has not only made accountants’ jobs less tedious but also decreases errors by a wide margin. It brought about a positive impact to how accountants can work, perform financial reporting with greater accuracy and higher efficiency. As time passed, the ability to analyse statistical values increased, and it would be quite disappointing if technology (and people) did not move forward in the same way.
Accountants can have all the data but what makes technology so powerful in the accounting world is that there are many cloud-based accounting software applications which create easy accessibility anytime, anywhere. The new accounting technologies have so many great features and data can be processed real time to churn out useful reports with insightful analysis on the business’s overall performance within a short period of time.
Technology also minimises human errors and provides early detection and intervention should unusual situations arise such as fraud or embezzlement. Today’s accountants who understand the importance of technology will use it to execute major business processes in the organisation such as basic accounting, auditing and tax preparation.
Accountants can now perform statistical accounting or forecasting analysis with greater efficiency and accuracy. They will also be able to help the organisation tweak and optimise business resources and strategies to meet organisational objectives, driving business growth, thereby becoming the organisation’s most trusted accountant/ business consultant.
It takes the right combination of hard and soft skills to succeed in a finance or accounting job, but the list of technical finance skills, Ethics and Professional Skills employers in this industry want to see from their top candidates is often more demanding than most requirements. Aside from having working knowledge across a range of different business software applications, accountants will also need to be knowledgeable with automation tools and harness them in a strategic way.
The Business and Technology (BT) course serves a variety of purposes for accountants/ business consultants looking to explore the following. First and foremost, the syllabus begins by exploring the external influences that affect the business in its environment, including economic, legal, social and technological factors.
It then brings the functions, systems and new technologies in accountancy as well as audit into the picture. And lastly, the skills in communicating, reporting and managing financial information which include the effective compliance, internal control and security of financial and other data.
In summary, this paper is a good start for any accountant/ business consultant to boost his/ her technical finance skills, and, in turn, helps to accomplish improved productivity, and catch errors before they spiral into possible losses of thousands or even millions of Rupees. Taking the Business and Technology (BT) course is key to make it in this fast-growing industry, stay ahead of competition and be the go-to accountant/ business consultant in 2021.