With 2017 in the rearview, and the open road of 2018 in front, it’s hard not to wonder what this new year will have in store.
Below, find the three major 2018 trends within the accounting and financial industry and how you can prepare to meet them. This year holds tremendous potential with new technology on the horizon to meet growing financial demands.
More post-two thousand millennials are becoming tax paying adults, meaning you’ll face a younger, more tech-savvy client-base.
This new generation of clients was raised on smartphones and iPads, so if you expect outdated management systems and tools to appeal to this crowd, think again. Younger millennials demand quick and efficient solutions. Paper is dying and mobile, cloud-based solutions are a must, as are real-time communication and more personalized, do-it-yourself software.
As the potential of machine learning and AI continually improve, so do their uses for business solutions.
Accountant and finance professionals alike know the time sink of manual data entry. Worse, even the smallest errors in this process lead to compounding problems.
Modern financial software not only automates data entry and other simple tasks, AI is helping today’s programs improve accuracy and speed, providing greater analytics and projections, and spotting fraud.
Moving forward, accountants and finance managers will rely on AI and machine learning for faster expense auditing, simplified payment processing, and lowering financial risks.
It seems as if 2017 was the year of Bitcoin. News stations and grandparents alike talked about it. And while experts are divided as to whether the cryptocurrency has long-term potential, the technology upon which it’s built, the blockchain, is here to stay.
Gartner, the world’s leading research and advisory company, defines blockchain as:
“A type of distributed ledger in which value exchange transactions are sequentially grouped into blocks. Each block is chained to the previous block and immutably recorded across a peer-to-peer network, using cryptographic trust and assurance mechanisms.”
What does that mean? It means blockchain is a public ledger that executes value-based transactions without needing third-party authentication. Bitcoin shows us the uses for monetary transactions, but blockchain could also be used for taxes, property, contracts, confidential information, and more.
This technology can streamline key accounting functions and enable accountants and financial managers to better solve business challenges related to automated audit workflows, fraud, and invoicing.
Don’t understand the Blockchain? What is machine learning? You’re not alone. The greatest method to prepare for these trends is to research and educate yourself now.
Be willing to invest in new technology and training for your staff. Outdated systems are no match for today’s demands. If you stick to what you know and refuse to adopt evolving technologies, you’ll fade out. Fortunately, there are plenty of resources available to help you understand and master everything you need to meet these emerging trends head on.