An unprecedented year has left its mark on industries across the world. And accounting and finance professionals are no exception to these changes, but they are ready to meet new challenges in the years to come. Trends and opportunities have increased in number and now require more attention than ever. So, if you’re an accounting firm, get ready to ensure your organization’s growth.
Discover 6 emerging trends in finance and accounting, in 2021.
1. Data Analytics
The demand for data specialists in the past years has grown significantly, making data analytics one of the most important trends in the accounting services industry. The great benefit of data analytics is that it can uncover valuable insights and help improve processes and efficiency while managing risks.
Organizations are shifting to a better understanding of their performance and improved decision-making due to data analytics. High-quality data and reporting will help them be competitive in today’s market.
2. Automated accounting
Automation is a proven solution when it comes to accounting, and companies are adopting it more lately. Automation technologies help finance professionals reduce the time, energy, and resources required to complete cumbersome tasks. Because of these benefits, they can dedicate more time to bring more value through other essential tasks in the organization.
Luckily, automation is here to stay, continuing to eliminate time wastage, confusion, and human errors. It will also drive higher productivity levels.
3. Cloud-based accounting
Today, cloud technology has become a popular choice for finance and accounting organizations, reducing the need for physical hardware. In the age of digital transformation and remote working, finance companies can benefit from the cloud to access their resources anywhere, anytime, without the need for internal networks or external data centers.
Moreover, cloud service providers are helping organizations by taking care of the necessary updates and integration, which is a great benefit for IT teams—empowering them to focus on other tasks.
4. ESG reporting
Today, companies are more accountable to provide transparency on sustainable and responsible practices to their customers, employees, and stakeholders. Luckily, Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) analysis can provide valuable insights and improve the decision-making process for accounting firms.
Focusing on ethical issues and sustainability is becoming more popular in the financial field lately, and ESG criteria are now a decisive factor in measuring business performance. As a result, accounting and financial professionals need to consider ethical standards as much as they value technical skills.
5. More digital payments
The rapid shift toward digital payments around the world is already changing the way customers and businesses in financial services are evolving. Moreover, recent studies show that, by 2023, nearly 430 billion transactions will switch from cash to digital payments—a trend that will continue to grow.
It is definitely easier to outsource payments today when technology is changing. However, financial professionals need to keep up with technological advancements if they want to move as fast as digital payments. This trend is also accelerating the need for modernizing payment systems in banks, where the shift has been on a large scale across the globe.
Last but not least, blockchain technology is another key trend that has been on the rise in 2021, with more companies and consumers adopting blockchain-based models of transactions.
With so many non-bank service options from fintech alternatives, clients are more open to try something new and benefit from these technologies.