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Emerging Issues in Accounting and Finance


I am in agreement with Jason Marx’s view that accountants should be worried about adaptation rather than being replaced. The perpetual advancement in technology is not meant to take accountants and finance personnel their jobs but to enhance their efficiency. Technology only replaces the routine roles that nobody enjoys performing them. Accountants still offer what technology cannot provide such as human interaction and trust. By replacing much of the manual work and routine jobs, the technology significantly frees up accountants and allows them to become more useful partners to the companies that they work for (Peace, 2021). This essay begins by highlighting the actual meaning of perpetual technology and actual technologies that are significantly shaping the accounting landscape. Technologies such as Cloud-based accounting and Artificial Intelligence and how they have revolutionized the accounting profession are covered. The essay also outlines the specific benefits that accounts derive from using the cloud-based accounting applications and AI. For example, increased efficiency and accuracy, increased trust, happier clients, and less stress during audit time are some of the benefits of these technologies. Finally, the conclusion summarizes the discussion with a call to action.

The Perpetual Advance of Technology

The world today is experiencing perpetual disruption characterized by accelerating technological change. The accelerated disruption is fundamentally changing the norm, particularly in the accounting profession by creating more economic value. The accounting landscape has in the recent past undergone massive upgrades with advanced technologies like cloud computing and artificial intelligence (Islam, 2017). These technologies are helping accountants and organizations by introducing cutting-edge solutions to modern businesses, thus helping them to grow at a rapid pace. A combination of artificial intelligence and cloud-based applications allows Certified Public Accountants to fully optimize operations, achieve more flexibility, reach out to a wider audience, and attain efficiency (Peace, 2021). Using these technologies is further helping accountants to provide greater insight into critical financial data, thus helping the management to make accurate decisions that lead to greater profitability.

AI, for example, is growing at an unprecedented pace and designing machines that can handle complex jobs and mimic human beings easily. In the accounting and finance profession, the impact of AI has been phenomenal. Artificial intelligence is introducing applications that make complex and highly data-intensive tasks much easier. For instance, accounting tasks such as data entry, invoice capturing, and bank reconciliation is now being automated with the assistance of artificial intelligence (Li & Zheng, 2018). This frees up accountants’ valuable time and allows them to invest it in other critical tasks in the business. Besides automating accounting tasks, AI is helping accountants to streamline financial data, enforce corporate policies, minimize the risk of fraud, and conduct predictive analysis.

Modern cloud-based applications are also giving accounting and finance professionals access to all accounting resources through the cloud. These applications are helping organizations overcome obstacles associated with the conventional physical accounting (Marshall & Lambert, 2018). More importantly, cloud accounting is helping accountants to record all kinds of financial transactions, generate management accounts, capture cash flows, and perform other complex accounting functions. Modern cloud-based applications are associated with benefits such as easy scalability, enhanced data security, greater cost-efficiency, easy file sharing, and advanced backup capabilities.

Has the Advances in Technology Changed the Role of Accountant?

Over the last 20 years, the application of advanced technologies such as cloud accounting and artificial intelligence is inevitable not only for accountants but also for modern accounting firms. These technologies have revolutionized the field of accounting and finance, as well as their responsibilities. AI and cloud accounting complement each other and help accountants to deliver flexible and efficient services. When used together, they allow accountants and finance professionals to have an improved data management infrastructure that is capable of handling all financial data (Li & Zheng, 2018). Most importantly, these technologies bring greater profitability, flexibility, and efficiency in business, thus making it future proof.

Benefits of Cloud Accounting

Cloud-based applications offer all-time resources that modern accountants require to execute their duties effectively. Modern cloud-based applications provide accountants with easy access to all accounting assets from any location. The on-the-go access to all financial data helps the management and decision-makers to make accurate decisions (Mitran, 2020). Cloud accounting is also lauded because of its greater cost-efficiency. This technology offers affordable storage and cloud solutions that are cost-effective relative to conventional computer-based accounting. Other cost benefits that accountants and auditing firms derive from cloud-based applications include zero maintenance costs and lesser power consumption. Enhance data security is an important benefit of cloud-based applications given that security is a major concern for organizations adopting modern technologies. Accountants handle sensitive financial data that requires top-notch security and protection. Due to its sophisticated security features, cloud accounting is considered more secure relative to the traditional physical data servers (Gupta & Jain, 2017). The modern cloud-based applications consist of multiple layers of security that involve multi-factor authentication and data encryption. Further to providing top-notch security, modern cloud-based applications offer advanced backup capabilities that allow accountants to retrieve financial data easily. Cloud-based applications further allow accountants to share accounting data easily with the management, clients, and partners. For example, a file in a cloud-based application can be shared simultaneously with multiple users regardless of their geographic location. This feature eliminates the need to share files back and forth through email. Most importantly, modern cloud-based applications allow accountants to adapt easily to the changing business needs (Van den Bergh et al., 2019). The easy scalability helps accountants and accounting firms to meet their financial data management requirements quickly and with a lot of ease.

Benefits of Artificial Intelligence on Accounting

Artificial intelligence is helping accountants to automate the recording of tedious and lengthy transactions, as well as extract data from receipts. This feature frees up considerable time for accountants and allows them to participate in other critical business processes (Greenman, 2017). The enforcement of corporate policies has further been made a whole easier with artificial intelligence. For example, previously it took a lot of time to point out the non-compliance issues from multiple financial data. However, AI helps in the enforcement of corporate policies through regular scanning of credit card transactions, travel bookings and employee receipts to identify transactions that violate corporate policies. Artificial intelligence is extremely useful during auditing since error detection is easier and quicker. Automated auditing with the help of AI allows accountants to detect all kinds of irregularities in financial data, which minimizes fraud such as reimbursement of fraudulent expenditures (Liu, 2021). AI further helps in the management of data influx without disrupting the overall operation of the system. AI is also lauded for helping accountants and finance professionals to conduct predictive analyses. Artificial intelligence tools help accountants not only to analyze the market trends but also to predict future outcomes with accuracy. AI potentially eliminates human error in highly data-intensive activities, thus making accurate predictions (Kokina & Davenport, 2017). AI makes it easier to perform revenue forecasting, budgeting, expense planning, and cash flow forecasting. AI-powered virtual assistants are also helping accountants and finance professionals to answer common queries from partners and clients, thus maintaining the company’s reputation and achieving high levels of customer satisfaction. The virtual assistants use machine learning and natural language processing to answer common and regular customer queries efficiently (Fernandez & Aman, 2018). Besides being quick in providing responses, AI-based virtual assistants provide near human-level satisfaction, thus maintaining the reputation of a business.

Besides AI and cloud accounting, other advanced technologies are likely to emerge in the future to address the changing needs of modern businesses. As a result, modern accountants are required to be highly adaptive and flexible to align themselves with the ever-changing technology (Wang, 2021). Future accountants, for example, will be required to pursue more professional courses focusing on tech solutions to keep up with the changing accounting and finance landscape. For example, in a world where technologies are performing most of the routine jobs that accountants previously did on a daily basis, the role of accountants will shift from data entry-related jobs to strategic-decision making roles and long-term planning in the future (Islam, 2017). As a result, institutions of higher learning will be required to tailor their accounting courses to integrate practical accounting skills with theoretical knowledge. For this reason, some Universities in the UK are already offering Cloud accounting courses as well as Artificial Intelligence Analytics as part of the alignment to technological change.


Conclusively, the perpetual advancement of technology is not going to replace accountants and finance professionals, but it will require them to be flexible and highly adaptive as Jason Marx suggests. Accountants will increasingly rely on technologies such as artificial intelligence and cloud-based applications to help them perform their duties. AI and cloud accounting are the epitome of new technology in the accounting profession, so adopting them early gives accountants as a competitive advantage. The changing expectations of organizations and the growing need for accountants’ participation in critical tasks force modern accountants to align themselves with the emerging technologies. By replacing much of the manual work and routine jobs, the technology significantly frees up accountants and allows them to become more useful partners to the companies that they work for. Thus, future accountants must seek to develop their adaptability, openness, and strategic-decision making skills to keep in tandem with the changing accounting career landscape.


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