What will accounting look like in 2022? Accounting has been around for thousands of years, but the advances in technology and trends in the business world are always changing how accountants do their jobs. In 2021, there were 380,000 accountants and auditors working in the United Kingdom alone, so it’s safe to say that things will keep changing in this sector well into the future.
The history of accountancy
Accountancy is one of those industries that’s undergone an almost complete transformation since its first use. Initially, financial records were kept on clay tablets and clay papyrus to track transactions and assets. And as time passed, paper replaced clay as accountants could record more transactions with fewer labor hours, which was important when you had to calculate before computing came into play. With computers taking over bookkeeping tasks, we see a future where everything becomes automated – and what does that mean for accountants? The accountant of 2022 might take on different duties – overseeing finances by looking at analytics data, perhaps.
The future of accounting
Accounting is important to small businesses. The ability to manage your finances, plan your finances and track your results are all important aspects of running a business. The future of accounting may look different in the future than it does today, however there are likely to be three key components: data, real-time and complexity. These elements have already started to have an impact on today’s industry but we can expect them to continue to have more of an effect into 2022 and beyond.
Key factors driving change
The key drivers are all linked to technology, from data to analytics. The use of data and analysis to drive better decision-making is on track to become a top priority for businesses in 2022. This will lead to an increase in automation of certain functions—such as invoicing—which will reduce or remove some human labor from specific processes, driving down costs and making these services available at a fraction of their current price. Not just creating invoices, but chasing them, taking payments, receipts and the entire process will continue to evolve.
How accountants will evolve
It’s easy to envision an accountant as a person with quill pen, leather-bound ledger, and a calculator. This is not only because those were common tools of an accountant until just 20 years ago but also because accountants still use those same tools today. However, accountants of 2022 have some different—and much more modern—tools at their disposal. The roles that accountants play in small businesses are important factors for management decisions; but business owners might be surprised to learn how many of their decisions affect internal audit functions. In many cases, small business owners have complete control over internal auditing efforts. The role of future audit professionals won’t necessarily become any less important; instead, it will evolve into something even more specialized than today’s accountants.
What we can accountants do moving into 2022
Cryptocurrency and Blockchain Technology, e-accounting, smart contracts. Implement advanced virtual and physical solutions for management of financial processes: document flow between parties, information processing, reporting and analysis. Avoid financial frauds using cryptographic mechanisms or by implementing a protocol based on blockchain technology. Improve financial control at enterprises with minimum costs by automating routine tasks performed manually by accountants and auditors such as compliance with AML-KYC procedures, regulations on electronic signatures etc.
Accounting continues to evolve as the financial sector continues to evolve.