In the professional services sector, it’s not uncommon to wonder if robots will someday make the role of humans obsolete. With the dawn of automation, robots are faster, more accurate, and don’t mind mundane tasks. However, the rise of robots may not necessarily lead to less jobs, but more interesting work for humans.
How is accounting automated?
Accounting automation involves streamlining accounting processes and standardizing tax inputs and workflows using technology. The result is more accurate results in less time. And in today’s “do more with less” environment, the boost in time savings and accuracy couldn’t be more important.
At face-value, automating accounting can be a scary thought: robots can do it better? Yes. It is certainly more economical for rules-based software to complete tax returns instead of expensive and error-prone humans. However, automation is the accountant’s pathway to more rewarding, high-value work.
How do I automate accounting?
Look for a complete tax compliance solution enabled by APIs that delivers automation to eliminate or reduce manual processes throughout each step of your tax workflow.
Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) allow two disconnected systems to access and use each other’s features or data. Essentially, an API acts as a facilitator that enables two different and separate applications to talk to each other.
The use of APIs in automating accounting workflows and processes is critical in creating a custom solution tailored to your firm’s unique compliance processes. Open API connectors enable firms to easily integrate third party vendors seamlessly.
What are the benefits of automating accounting?
APIs unlock endless ways to increase efficiency and better serve your clients, including the ability to:
Complete work faster
Tackle the most complex tax returns, such as multi-tiered consolidated return processing for corporations and partnerships and build the entire tax return from scratch using an imported data file.
Streamline data entry
Deploy your team simultaneously across a single return so that each specialist can take on their role at the same time.
Ensure data integrity
Protect your data with multiple layers of security, including network security, virus protection, encryption schemes, and more.
Easily file advance tax returns
Process individual, corporate, and partnership returns with timesaving tools, such as the Allocation and Apportionment module.
Improve firm value
Shift high paying staff from tactical work to focus on higher value advisory services.
Will accountants be replaced by technology?
When it comes to the accounting profession, there are many ways in which accountants have already been replaced by technology. Not so long ago, accountants were spending long hours manually entering taxpayer data and sifting through loads of paperwork. With the dawn of accounting technology and tax workflow automation, these days are gone—and good riddance. The accounting profession no longer revolves solely around tax returns and financial statements.
While traditional compliance services will always be an important part of what accountants do, the focus is shifting. With artificial intelligence (AI) taking the place of manual bookkeeping and the cloud taking the place of paper-based processes, accountants can use the time savings to provide clients with strategic advice, data analytics, and consulting services.
By unlocking this new skill set, accountants can become trusted advisors—and that means stronger client relationships, sustained revenue, and a personal touch.
How does automation change the way accountants work?
While accountants will not be completely replaced by technology, roles and relationships will change—in a good way. Technology’s impact on accounting means less focus on manual, repetitive and time-consuming tasks opens the door to evolving the perception of accountant as a trusted advisor and consultant—and provides an opportunity for more interesting and valuable work along the way.
That’s why many forward-thinking accountants who were once overloaded with tedious paperwork have taken advantage of automation and evolved their practice into one that goes beyond standard tax preparation and compliance. This consultative approach is not only more lucrative but can also be more fulfilling.
By capitalizing on experience, personality, relationships, and creativity, accountants can carve out careers of the human touch—an increasingly valuable commodity. This combined with the strength of automation offers a clear competitive advantage for accountants to succeed amidst automation.
Why accounting can never be fully automated
For those who are willing to embrace technology, automation can streamline accounting processes and spark an opportunity to shift to advisory-based services. When you combine your passion and experience with the right technology, that’s when you can sustain deeper and more meaningful client relationships.
When moving to an advisory services model, remember that your actions have more impact, and your relationships carry more weight. To shift these relationships into high gear, consider eliminating billable hours and moving to value pricing. It’s a move that also opens the door to year-round client relationships instead of a once-a-year tax return transaction.
Key to this shift—and the reason why accounting cannot fully be automated—is that your knowledge and experience are unique, and they shouldn’t be given away for free.
Once accountants shift into this mindset, the value proposition of the accounting firm revolves around the human touch—and that makes for more rewarding work.
How to transform your accounting practice with automation
Flexible technology built specifically for accounting firms can give accountants a competitive advantage and enable a shift to advisory services. With APIs, you can unlock endless ways to increase efficiency, better serve your clients, and beat the robots.