The year ahead is bringing some new tech trends with it. Opportunities are there for businesses who are ready to adapt, embrace change and become confident data and artificial intelligence navigators.
New and emerging tech in accounting isn’t a threat; it’s a digital toolkit that can empower your business to be more efficient and to improve the speed, accuracy and quality of your accounting.
Here are some of the top tech trends you can expect to see more of in 2020.
The Blockchain Boom
We will see continued investment in blockchain technology in 2020 that starts to yield real-world results beyond the big players as it becomes more practical, scaleable and integrated into the operational structure of smaller firms and traditional global corporations. Facebook even plans to launch its own cryptocurrency called Libra.
The implications of this shift are transformative, since greater application will extend the benefits of blockchain – increased accountability and tracking in supply chains, better encryption for data privacy, procedural changes to identify anomalies in auditing, and seamless authentication for digital documents – to more users than ever before.
Emerging Cloud Solutions
Cloud computing options for CPAs can reduce administrative burdens with built-in features and tools to optimize expense claims, purchase orders, payroll, multi-currency transactions and more. Going digital means less paperwork, which is great, but as an added perk it translates into greater service quality as well.
Cloud-based accounting software is already prominent, but in 2020 we’ll see an uptick in industry-wide adoption as it becomes ubiquitous. Being able to store and access your data from anywhere is the price of admission to do business in a digital-first world.
Extended Reality (XR) Going Mainstream
IT research firm Gartner predicts that 2020 will be the year we see up to 70 per cent of enterprises begin to experiment with immersive technologies for consumer and business purposes, while a more modest 25 per cent will have them deployed in production.
Human augmentation has the potential to fuel incredible optimization initiatives with a lot practical potential for accountants. Look out for emerging technology in XR to facilitate the next level of virtual and augmented reality, like overlaying digital objects into the real world using smartphone screens, as well as more accessible price points for headsets that’ll make you feel like you’re stepping into another world.
New AI Horizons and Computer Vision
In the new year, companies will continue to explore how AI can streamline business operations. The way we process data will evolve further in accounting, too, as advanced analytics become critical to decision making that anticipates the future. 2020 is going to bring increased opportunities for people to work alongside AI applications that are tailored to specialized tasks that go beyond traditional number crunching to enhance customer experience and create more efficiencies.
Additionally, computer vision, a sub-section of AI that allows machines to “see” and make decisions about visual input, will gain traction across different industries. The most obvious use of this technology may be in self-driving cars, but computer vision will also impact the accounting and finance world by powering everything from simple improvements like ability to automatically and accurately extract information from documents, to more fine-tuned leaps, like the precise analysis of satellite images for insurance and investment strategies.
Higher Focus on Cybersecurity
As the digital world only grows more complicated and globalized, the value of cybersecurity is on the rise. Being safe online isn’t as simple as a firewall anymore; cybersecurity is a table-stakes business issue. You can expect to see many firms up the ante on cybersecurity in 2020. Factors influencing this development include increased work with third-party vendors; higher volumes of cross-border data exchange and rapid growth in mobile tech.
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