NAPA – North Adriatic Ports Association

How Technology Is Evolving For The Accounting Profession

Introduction

All accountants are aware that accounting is considered to be the language of business. Over time, this language has undergone numerous changes. However, through all of the various changes that have occurred, accounting technology has played a major role at all times in helping to make the accountant’s job a bit easier. As knowledge of technology continues to increase, the ability of the accountant to analyze various statistical values has increased as well. Technology advancements have resulted in enhancing the ability of the accountant to interpret data effectively and efficiently. Accountants can now interpret accounting so easily that they have become the most highly trusted business advisor for a corporation.

Accounting Changes Over Time

We can go all the way back to the beginning when the abacus was invented. It was used for keeping track of various business calculations. Although this might not have been called technology, it is possible to go back for centuries when several attempts were made to construct adding machines in order to assist accountants with their mathematical solutions. The very first workable adding machines were followed by the calculator being invented for information accuracy purposes. As technology continued to advance, so did the proficiency and speed of the accountant’s tasks and job. However, even with calculators and adding machines, the accountant still needed to track the functions of the business with paper entries. The process of financial information being identified, measured, and communicated was documented using paper records, handwritten statements, and columns of numbers. Accountants needed to be very detail-oriented, methodical people in order to do their job.

As the twentieth century came to a close, the accounting profession started taking on an entirely new look. Accounting software and computers have completely transformed the industry. With Microsoft Excel and other software programs, accountants basically have electronic spreadsheets now. The need to have pencils, ledges, calculators, and adding machines was all eliminated. The accountant’s job became a lot less tedious and there was a lower margin for error. The main training for accountants which had included basic accounting, tax preparation, and auditing became a relic of the past. By using computers, accountants are now able to perform forecasting analysis or statistical accounting with much greater efficiency and effectiveness. Accounting technology has been able to successfully eliminate the number cruncher who sits at a desk working on taxes and allow them to deal with new challenges that offer so much more than what was available decades ago when accountants had to rely on an abacus as their main calculating tool.

E-Business, the Extranet, and the Intranet

Modern accounting professionals understand how important the Internet is in today’s world and use it for doing e-business. Accountants use the Internet to conduct major business processes for their companies. E-business (electronic business) makes it possible for accounting firms to coordinate their activities for the purpose of internal management. Client relationships are combined with using digital networks. Enterprise applications may be used on an Intranet, which is a small internal network. The Intranet is able to distribute information such as corporate programs and policies to employees. It features a single point of access point called a portal. A Web interface can be used to provide information from various systems. They are able to feature things like a search tool, the Code of Ethics and other types of internal documents, as well as email. It is a very good way for employees of an organisation to be able to communicate with each other. It also makes it possible for clients to limit access, and link part of the Intranet of the accounting firm in order to import files as well as export them back and forth. Linking data electronically helps to increase efficiency and reduce travel expenses which ultimately reduces overall operational costs as well.

Advancements in technology have completely transformed the accounting profession and made it much more efficient and effective than it was centuries or even decades ago. As technology continues to evolve the accounting profession will as well.

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