Invest, evolve and adapt to keep ahead

 Bemoaning the lack of a Which? for accounting technology, Viresh Paul of NW London Chartered Accountants vows to educate himself and understand the new technology options available for accountants.

From quills and ledgers to Excel spreadsheets to Cloud computing, accountancy has indeed evolved by giant steps in our lifetime. All right, maybe not quills, but we have seen some big changes.

And, if you accept the common wisdom, the relentless advance of technology is set to continue. Robots may not exactly be taking over our jobs any time soon, but Artificial Intelligence is here and we should all be embracing it if only for the time saving and the improvement in productivity it will offer.

Gone will be the days when bookkeepers will be posting purchase invoices into the ‘computerised’ purchase ledger (remember when we marvelled at that innovation?). These are already being posted automatically and stored digitally within the accounting system.

Bank feeds are another example of transactions that are automatically posted into cloud-based accounting packages to a degree of accuracy that could not be matched by the most diligent bookkeeper.

No doubt there are costs of implementing new technology as well as the need for people with the skills to understand and implement this new-fangled technology. You may not share my opinion but if we are to survive as a profession, we do need to invest, evolve and adapt.

New technology does bring its own headaches and risks. The biggest issue I see at the moment is deciding on which one of the many different solutions being offered is the best one to go for. The market place is teaming with all kinds of products that solution providers will claim are the best.

This is when one wishes there was some sort of a Which? magazine type of evaluation available to help one see the wood from the trees and maybe even decide what to prioritise.

I guess there is no other option than to educate oneself and try to assess the merits of each solution and decide which one is fit for purpose.

After all, we do not want to be left behind, do we?

Viresh Paul is Chairman of NW London Chartered Accountants.

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