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The accountant’s guide to robots, IoT and blockchain

20th Oct 2017
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Technology now runs through the arteries of most companies. Whether your clients are recruiting customers, optimising customer experiences or developing new business models, IT is omnipresent within their companies. Robotisation, the Internet or Things, or blockchain are some of the technologies that are already changing your clients’ businesses and will likely change your accountancy practice too.

Technologies like the cloud are already shaping accountancy practices and will keep on introducing new changes in the coming years. Here are some of the most important technologies to look for right now:

Robotisation

Robotisation is the increasing number of tasks performed by robots that were originally performed by people. Ever since the first ‘visible’ forms of robotisation took hold in the automotive industry, robots have now even made their way into office-based roles, such as financial administration. We know that robotisation will affect human work in one way or another and all sectors and companies will most likely be affected by robotisation in the longer term.

At present robotics are heavily dependent on processes; however, robots are already carry out simple, time-consuming and repetitive tasks, liberating time for humans to do other tasks. But automating these tasks doesn’t mean that humans won’t have any work to do. We will still need to continue doing the more complex and creative jobs.

The Internet of Things

The Internet of Things (IoT) connects various devices to the Internet, from household appliances to production machines. Among the benefits of IoT technology, we can find more efficient processes, better logistics at lower costs, centralised management and automation through a constant flow of sensor data or even preventative maintenance. For accountants, IoT means they will be able to use real-time information for better business planning, improving budget accuracy and forecasting.

Blockchain

The blockchain technology has gained popularity in recent years. The original application of Blockchain was for bitcoin, which enabled transactions made with the digital currency to spread across a connected network instead, eliminating the need of having a central record keeping system. Everyone trading in bitcoins is connected to a central database. When there is a transaction, it is not only registered in the systems of the people involved in the transaction, but in the administration of all who are connected to the network. This verifies the transaction and makes it almost impossible to manipulate or hack, and safe enough to be distributed rather than centralised.

Besides its use with bitcoin transactions, there are other potential uses of this technology. For instance, it could make it easier to automatically verify data behind financial statements or support traceable audit trails.

Find out more about the blockchain technology and about other technological “hot” topics.

Gavin Fell, general manager UK, Exact

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