Finance professionals have always exploited emerging technologies to help them to complete their tasks more accurately, quickly or simply: from the incised clay tablets of the Sumerian scribes, through the adding machines of the 19th century, to the calculators and computers of the 20th century. All these technological developments were simple by comparison with the myriad technologies that are now rapidly reshaping the worlds of business and accountancy
Looking at the coming decade, what new technologies should finance professionals be aware of in order to excel in their roles as advisors to businesses.
Mobile technologies change the structured nature of finance, being office-based is not a requirement anymore
The recently released ACCA report titled, Digital Darwinism: Thriving in the Face of Technological Change, looks at the advent of new technologies that will change the face of business, specifically the finance function.
The following technological tools are highlighted by the report as agents of change in the way business activities will conducted; some of them are new and some we are familiar with but will evolve the way finance activities are conducted:
- Big data
- Artificial intelligence and robotics
- Payment systems
- Digital Service Delivery
- Social Technologies
Taking Big Data as an example, analysis of data sets can find new correlations, to “spot business trends, combat crime and so on. Mobile technologies change the structured nature of finance, being office-based is not a requirement anymore. Confidentiality and privacy are big in finance, so the need for security cannot be emphasised enough in these technological times
Pat Semenya, Market Head of ACCA SA, gives reasons why technological advances matter, “firstly, they play a fundamental role in the creation of wealth, improve the quality of life, have an impact on economic growth, and can even transform societies. Secondly, guaranteed revenue streams are diminishing and so companies need to continuously innovate and experiment, and nothing is risk-free. Finally, technology is evolving really quickly and consumer and business strategies need to keep up.”
By anticipating these changes, finance professional can manage the change and use it to get the best out of these technological tools