Digital Transformation in accounting is evolving rapidly. The large Big Four firms embraced these technologies early on and have been leaders in the adoption of digital transformation innovation. Midsized and smaller accounting practices are now increasingly seeing the value of these solutions and are also getting on board. Digital transformation in accounting can have many applications and many advantages. Many processes in accounting are routine and rules based and lend themselves to digital transformation.
In the remainder of this article, we will cover what digital transformation in accounting looks like, digital transformation advantages, and digital transformation managed services.
Challenges for Accounting Practices
Accounting practices have many of the same common challenges as other portions of the economy, plus some that are specific to accounting. Hiring and retaining talent is a challenge we hear commonly from our clients in this sector. We also frequently have clients mention keeping up technically and implementing AI as hurdles. Globalization can be a big headache to clients in this space and competition is often coming from multiple directions. Accounting practices also have cyber security concerns and WFH or work from home issues to address. Challenges that are more unique to accounting practices include upskilling and providing additional services to clients. Some of these add on services can include services like payroll. Others are providing BI and analytics, plus ERP management solutions for clients.
Digital Transformation in Accounting Practices
The question of what is digital transformation in accounting comes down to the technology tools used to deploy these services. The number one tool that is used for digital transformation in accounting is RPA or robotic process automation. RPA equals bots, and bots equal a piece of software that performs task like a human would. An RPA bot will read a computer screen by scraping it, and move a mouse around, copy, paste, plus point and click in various apps just like human workers. Cognitive AI for reading docs and learning over time also is commonly leveraged for digital transformation in accounting. Conversational AI is also sometimes used. Conversational AI allows people to speak to and chat with software bots. Some of the tasks they can commonly take over in an accounting practice include bank reconciliations and credit card reconciliations. Entering data into client software applications or extracting it from them can also be performed as can running various reports and many administrative tasks. For more information on all that bots can do for accounting practices please visit our dedicated microsite called botsforaccountants.
Digital Transformation Accounting Advantages
Some of the best digital transformation of accounting advantages include the ability to address many of the challenges faced by practices. Digital transformation in accounting can help practices keep and retain talent because redundant routine work can be offloaded to bots. RPA can also help greatly with data collection that can be used by AI to spot trends and business concerns. RPA and bots can also capture data nonstop for clients and assist them in Business Intelligence efforts and analytics. Bots can also drive down costs in a practice and lead to higher profit margins by having routine work performed by software bots and higher value cognitive work addressed by the people in the practice who now have more available time for work on higher value tasks.
Digital Transformation Managed Services
The large accounting firms often make expensive purchases of enterprise and seat licenses direct from digital transformation vendors. They also hire their own engineers to build and run systems for them or contract with expensive consulting firms to provide this service. Midsized and small accounting practices typically do not have the same budgets. At Valenta we provide digital transformation as a managed service, and we act as a digital transformation MSP. We work with our clients to set up the automations they need, charge a reasonable set up fee, and then offer a month to month subscription for services. Our clients in the space appreciate this approach and find it a flexible and low risk way to start leveraging digital transformation in accounting. To learn more about digital transformation of accounting advantages and see if it might be a fit for your practice please reach out to our local Managing Partners any time.