TMCnet Feature
September 24, 2020

Matthew Schatzel Explains How Technology is Transforming the Accounting Industry

Due to advanced technology, modern-day accountants need information technology training in addition to standard accounting due to the critical role technology plays. While on the surface it could appear that the work of an accountant is harder than it has been in the past, the reality is that accounting technology allows accountants to do more with less and with greater accuracy.

Matthew Schatzel is a staff accountant from St. Petersburg, Florida. He entered the accounting field with a background in computer science. His specialties include tax return preparation, auditing, and accounting technology. His skills have come in handy since software advancements are transforming an industry formerly run by manual ledgers and spreadsheets.

Accounting and Cloud Computing

Hard drive installed programs no longer represent the latest in accounting software. Today, all leading accounting platforms are cloud-based, improving security, and eliminating the need for on-site paper files or servers.

Cloud technology has made accounting software more affordable and allowed professionals to be more accessible to the average individual or business owner. It has also expanded the breadth of services available at a much lower cost. According to a 2018 report conducted by Robert Half and Financial Research Foundation, 75% of U.S. accounting and finance leaders surveyed said they were already using cloud-based solutions or planned to do so in the future, compared to 72% in the 2017 report and 62% in 2016.

Cloud technology minimizes or eliminates the need for physical record storage. Since users access records online, information management is a far more streamlined process, says Matthew Schatzel.

That said, accountants need to understand the risks associated with cloud computing and the security measures required to keep data secure. As technology has allowed businesses of all sizes to digitally transform, cyber-threats have also forced accountants to employ managed security services and meet industry compliance standards.

Accounting and Analytics

Accounting software improves accuracy and requires less cross-checking. The technology increases the efficiency, speed, and ease of statistical and forecasting analysis.

With more computing power available, accountants and their clients have access to more data — data that can render reliable forecasts and remarkable insights. Because of this, accountants today play a more critical role as advisors and consultants instead of traditional “number crunchers.”

The training curve in basic accounting is much shorter since many accounting programs can perform the traditional financial statement, bookkeeping, and tax preparation tasks required. As a result, advanced accounting involves organizing and interpreting financial data.

Matthew Schatzel on Accounting and Digital Communication

Accounting technology facilitates client-accountant relationships even when at a distance. Access to an accountant no longer requires a visit to a physical office. Thanks to digital, secure communication tools, accountants and their clients can manage all business transactions from anywhere in the world.

Practicing accountants can now serve a much larger client base due to the virtual workspace modern software allows, says Matthew Schatzel. Even from different locations, high-touch service is possible due to accounting software capabilities for online tax prep and enterprise cloud solutions.

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