You’ve probably heard the word ‘fintech’ used a lot in the business sector for some time now. Fintech has gained momentum because it has allowed new entrants to utilise technology to provide financial services to consumers around the globe.
While fintech lending can be used as an alternative source of finance, mentioned in our previous article, fintech is changing the entire financial services industry in fundamental ways.
When it comes to accounting and consultancy, fintech is streamlining business workflows to allow accountants to spend less time on traditional accounting duties and more time towards strategic planning.
Before we look closer at how fintech will transform the role of an accountant, we need to understand what fintech is.
What is FinTech?
Fintech is using software and other modern technologies to automate and improve financial services.
The intervention of robotics into inputs, processes and outputs, has automated financial systems. Employees need to know how to use technology to complete certain tasks rather than manually doing it themselves.
Machine learning and task management are some of the technical tools being utilised by fintech software apps to provide significantly better insights for businesses in real-time.
In addition, implementing a cloud accounting system (issued by providers like QuickBooks and FreeAgent) into the basic infrastructure enables businesses to access accounting services from any location, by any person at any time when necessary.
As more and more businesses incorporate fintech into their business model, this changes what the role of an accountant will be going forwards.
How will FinTech transform your Accountant’s roles?
Automation of traditional accounting duties
With technologies put in place to automate bookkeeping, from recording expenses to processing invoices and receipts, accountants will no longer need to work on these tedious yet time-consuming tasks.
According to research conducted by FreeAgent, 20% of accountants think they spend most of their time processing expenses for small businesses.
Not only helping with data entry, but automation makes it easier to process complex financial transactions in an instant, settling accounts with little to no error. What once was an ordeal for accountants can now be set up with little effort and run on its own.
Adopting fintech technologies can provide a substantial productivity boost to a company without having to push accountants to work harder, increasing employee satisfaction.
Allocate your time towards other projects
With automated technologies taking care of accounting alongside business transactions on a real-time basis, accountants can focus their expertise on other ventures.
More time can be spent analysing data results and coming up with a financial plan that identifies areas of improvement for a business. With fintech, an accountant can take on a more strategic advisory role that recognises opportunities and threats companies might experience.
By assembling data from regular month-end reports, accountants can provide more in-depth advice and strategic guidance that will help their client’s business become more successful.
Some professionals in the accounting industry seem to welcome this change. In an ACCA report titled ‘FinTech – transforming finance’, Bivek Sharma, the Head of Small Business Accounting for KPMG, explains that “fintech frees us to work [with clients] on better things”. With new responsibilities, accountants can work towards a role of a consultant or even a finance director (FD).
Work more effectively with others
With accountants taking on a more consulting role, fintech technologies can be utilised to securely keep client data in the cloud so that it can be accessed anytime and anyplace.
This helps with collaboration as analysis and discussion with other accountants and consultants can occur online while looking at the same data. A solution can be implemented immediately and monitored without any hassle.
Operating with an up-to-date system, that has built-in reporting and performance tools, enables accountants to provide timely advice to clients on business strategy based on current bookkeeping.
Fintech has also made things easier for regulatory compliance. A software that automatically reports financial information consistently and in line with the rapidly changing demands of regulators, allows accountants and the regulatory team to work together to take pre-emptive action or react instantly to changes that can potentially disrupt their business.
Fintech is automating a range of accounting duties, from payroll services to cash flow forecasting, without accountants having to manually intervene.
What this means for accountants is that more time is saved, which can be used to take on more clients or take part in additional training.
These technologies will allow organisations in the financial services industry to allocate their resources towards other purposes, increasing the quality of services being provided to clients so businesses remain profitable.
While there are certain limitations to fintech, especially when the system goes down and operations become stuck, the efficiency it brings will revolutionise your accountant, and the financial markets as a whole.
Interested in using accounting software to improve your business? At Count, we use QuickBooks and FreeAgent – visit our website to discover more!