Accounting Trends That Have Shaped the Industry in 2020

Published August 27, 2020
2020 accounting trends cloud hosted accounting services SMB

We are more than halfway through 2020, and what a ride it has been! While most aspects of our life were shaken, accounting processes held their ground. Thanks to accounting solutions like QuickBooks, accountants continued working remotely and contributed to their organizational goals. Software like QuickBooks kept most businesses running on their toes even when all else came to a halt.

But that’s not it. Throughout 2020, many accounting industry trends gained momentum, despite not being too common before. Let’s take a look at how accounting trends in 2020 have fared worldwide:

Data-driven Processes Have Seen an Upturn

Over the course of this year, the accounting industry shifted its focus to data analytics. It’s common for accountants to take on new roles. Previously, they were bookkeeping, recording transactions, forecasting sales, drafting financial statements, and deriving insights from the data. As businesses have started relying on accounting software like QuickBooks, processes have become quicker and easier. This has left the accountants with a lot of time to take up advisory roles through data analytics.

By analyzing the data, accountants can identify discrepancies, loopholes, and other risk factors that need to be managed better. This helps them improve accounting processes and make them more efficient. Analytics has long been an essential aspect of accounting services. Over the last few years, companies have also been incorporating it in the field of risk management, auditing, taxation, and accounting consultation. Companies are now presenting their financial information in newer ways with more actionable insights.

Other than that, accountants can also act as investment advisors and use accounting data to identify behavioral patterns among consumers. When you know which market segments are more profitable, you can easily uncap new investment opportunities to generate higher profits. Similarly, tax accountants can also use data science to analyze complicated investment scenarios and expedite essential business decisions.

Artificial Intelligence Enabled Technology is Reducing Accounting Errors

AI has long been known to produce positive results in accounting. This doesn’t mean that the accounting industry can rely on robots to analyze the data similarly to humans. We’re still far from it, and there’s still a lot of manual work that accountants need to carry out. However, automated technologies like predictive analytics and robotics processing are picking up steadily!

AI allows you to analyze large data sets at a higher speed and reduced speed. The generated results are also more accurate since they’re not subject to human error. Research has predicted that over the next three years, 66% of accountants worldwide will invest in artificial intelligence. Instead of replacing human decision-making, AI is expected to empower more in-depth financial analyses. In short, AI continues to promote automation while staying human. You can also incorporate AI chatbots to address everyday queries from your customers regarding the status of accounts, account balances, and due bills.

According to the experts at Forbes, artificial accounting wouldn’t eliminate the need for accountants! It’ll only reduce accounting errors.

Accounting Automation is Saving Accountants Time

If there’s one thing that business owners don’t have, it’s time. Manual accounting is both costly and time inefficient. Tasks like dealing with invoices, generating bills, data entry, and recording transactions are mundane. If your accountants are spending all their time printing checks and entering credit card data into the system, you’re incurring substantial opportunity costs.

On the other hand, automation reduces transactional and routine work and helps you focus on more value-added services and processes.

QuickBooks Desktop is one of the most excellent examples of accounting automation trends. One of the biggest reasons why QuickBooks stood out in 2020 was that you no longer need to build complicated ledger files and enter endless rows of data. You can scan the invoices and checks, and the values will seamlessly integrate with the rest of the data set. You don’t have to copy information from one space and paste it into another.

QuickBooks integrates easily with other data sources like Microsoft Excel. You can easily import data from Excel and use it on QuickBooks. Similarly, if you’re using additional tax preparation software, QuickBooks will also help you export data regarding income and expense.

You can even digitize your payroll system by integrating it with the accounting platform. The software quickly calculates and prints paychecks while accounting for holidays, leaves, and bonuses. QuickBooks facilitates both direct deposits and bank transfers to pay employees. It’s also easier to file and pay payroll taxes.

QuickBooks especially comes as a time-saver during financial closing. If you’ve been using it correctly since day one, you won’t have anything to reconcile. We agree that you’re only human and are susceptible to making mistakes, but your software isn’t. There is almost no real risk of data being mishandled. You’d still need a good accountant to verify the data, but it won’t take up too much effort.

If you’ve got many checks to sign, QuickBooks can help you save up on time in this regard too. You can scan and upload your signature in the software, and it’ll apply to all your checks. This is far easier than signing hundreds of checks monthly.

2020 has changed the world. It’s time to change how you carry out your accounting practices too!

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