Accounting is traditionally seen as less dynamic than other fast-paced industries, offering tried and true services that keep businesses and other professionals on track. But this industry is changing along with the overall business landscape, and accounting professionals must keep up. Here are some accounting trends to track for 2022.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Automation
Many businesses already use AI-powered chatbots and other tools to augment customer service and sales teams. AI-powered tools can also help accountants focus on their work by handling low-level tasks, including batching, uploading files, and compiling data.
Current accounting software also makes it easier for accountants to automate repetitive and tedious tasks, like recurring calculations, journal entries, and reports. By offloading these tasks, accountants have more time to work on complex tasks and decision-making, including finding ideas to generate more revenue.
Flexible Office Environments
Like other businesses impacted by lockdowns implemented in 2020, many accounting jobs are either fully or partially remote. Firms and accounting professionals working with confidential data can benefit from more robust security, possibly outsourcing this task to help keep client data safe. Improved security and other cloud-based computing software let accounting professionals work remotely from anywhere, helping them to maintain a better work/life balance.
Remote employees aren’t the only risk facing businesses. Cybercriminals have been using newer tactics to infect businesses with malware, ransomware, and other shady practices. These viruses prevent companies from accessing their files, including accounting software.
IT professionals continue to react to new threats, often requiring more security precautions. Since accounting and finance professionals work with confidential information, they may be asked to take more security precautions than people in other industries.
Whether crypto remains on the scene for the long haul remains to be seen, but in 2022, it’s important for finance and accounting professionals to have a working knowledge of these payments. As crypto continues to evolve, rules and regulations surrounding its use and reporting keep changing.
Financial institutions are working on cybersecurity controls and processing methods that will make it easier for businesses to work with customers using cryptocurrency. Accountants need to stay on top of rules and regulations regarding crypto payments and accounting.
Outsourcing and Staff Augmentation
The COVID-19 pandemic has led a lot of workers to take stock of their lives and leave their jobs for greener pastures, and the accounting industry is no exception. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that 4.3 million Americans quit their jobs in December 2021.
To handle this labor shortage, some companies have begun outsourcing accounting functions, augmenting in-house teams with skilled professionals, or simply turning this task over to freelance professionals or contracted vendors. Most small businesses (80%) outsource at least part of their operations in an effort to shift their resources elsewhere.
How To Move Forward
Technology has improved many facets of life and will continue to impact the accounting and finance industry. Tech continues to move the industry forward, from enhanced automation to cloud-based solutions that give workers the freedom of flexible schedules.
Accounting may not shift as quickly as other fields, but there are some exciting developments on the horizon in this industry.