As technology advances, finance teams will look to transform themselves from an invoice processing team to a business advisory team.

Automation

Automation is becoming more and more advanced and with the right software, can now do the basic role of an accounts assistant, raising sales invoices and inputting purchase invoices onto accounting systems. This has great benefits to a business as it saves a lot of time, is cost effective and human error is eliminated.

This automation is to strive towards real time financial statements to allow for improved and quicker decisions which will allow companies to monitor their financial information more closely .This should enable more timely prediction of any adverse fluctuations, giving time to rectify them before they become a major problem.

Automation gives finance teams more time to concentrate on a value-added service, providing insight to the figures, cost saving initiatives and recommendations on how to improve.

Accounting Software

The majority of the accounting software packages available can now create financial reports, such as an income statement, balance sheet, VAT returns and a cashflow statement, this reduces the need for an accountant for many small businesses. With the introduction of Making Tax Digital, many accounting software’s have created further increased capacity to enable direct submission for tax returns, further reducing the need to pay for an accountant – as this is now all completed within the online package.

Upskilling

The advances in both automation and accounting software packages are having major impact for finance departments in 2 ways. Firstly automation is slowly eliminating the less skilled roles in finance, which will give the opportunity for more finance professionals to provide business strategic contributions and become business advisors, helping decision makers to make more informed decisions, which in turn, may improve the profitability and efficiency of the business. Secondly reducing the need to employ an external accountant, hence reducing expenditure.