How the Pandemic is Reshaping Bookkeeping and Accounting
The COVID-19 pandemic is wreaking havoc on all aspects of society, reshaping how we live, work and play. In the business world, the pandemic is driving seismic shifts in the operational approach and strategies of many industries. The bookkeeping and accounting sector is experiencing these shifts in the form of new working paradigms, acceleration of digital transformation and automation of processes.
New working paradigms
The unfortunate spread of the coronavirus is rapidly accelerating remote working, making it the norm today. Businesses large and small rapidly shifted to remote working as COVID-19 social distancing and stay-at-home measures took effect. However, even before COVID-19, remote working was trending upward. Over the last 15 years remote work has grown 159% and 44% over the last five years.
Post COVID-19, many professionals, including bookkeepers and accountants, will continue working remotely. A survey by Intermedia found that 57% of SMB owners said they will likely maintain increased remote working options for employees in the long-term.
This means that in-house and professional service accountants and bookkeepers alike will continue to adapt workflows so that they can seamlessly be executed away from the office. Communication will also continue to shift to digital channels such as video conferencing, messaging and email.
Acceleration of digital transformation
In a post-COVID-19 world, we will see continued acceleration of the digital transformation of bookkeeping and accounting functions. This includes remote access to financial data and information from smartphones.
Advances in fintech cloud technology that allow anytime, anywhere access to data are making it a fixture in accounting and bookkeeping. In the COVID-19 environment, enterprises are accelerating adoption of cloud-based accounting technology to meet the business imperative of mobile access to data, driven by the surge in remote working. According to Accountancy Age, 78% of small businesses will rely solely on cloud technology by 2020.
Increasing adoption of cloud-based accounting platforms is helping accountants and bookkeepers drive business continuity for their clients and businesses. According to a global survey of accounting professionals by SmartVault, 62% of firms who felt they are responding to COVID-19 successfully are more likely to be using cloud-based technology. The survey also found that firms with at least one cloud system in place prior to the COVID-19 pandemic fared far better than firms that did not have any cloud systems in place.
Accountants and bookkeepers are using cloud-based bookkeeping and accounting subscription services to connect into bank account and credit card transactions to track expenses and cash flow, providing a clear picture of financial performance to help the businesses they serve make more informed strategic decisions.
Cloud-based bookkeeping and accounting subscription services will continue gaining momentum as an affordable way to help clients and businesses improve business operations, save on infrastructure costs and gain the flexibility to scale up or down with business conditions.
Automation of processes
Accountants and bookkeepers are turning to technology to automate accounting, bookkeeping, and tax filing functions. Fintech solutions are helping bookkeepers and accountants automate repetitive processes, speeding them up while delivering improved accuracy and efficiency.
Many accountant and bookkeeper concerns around the shift to remote working center on the issue remaining productive away from the office. Automating repetitive accounting and bookkeeping processes is helping them boost productivity by speeding these processes up and delivering improved accuracy and efficiency.
As states slowly reopen their economies, many business operations and processes will look a lot different. For accounting and bookkeeping, the post-pandemic new normal will include a more permanent shift to remote working, accelerated adoption of cloud-based technologies and increased automation.