Future of Accounting

Here’s Why Accountants Are Ready for Accounts Payable Automation

August 23, 2017


Technological disruption and adaptation can be difficult, particularly for those who work in traditionally regulated industries like financial services. However, Sage reports that an overwhelming majority of accountants (86%) are ready to embrace emerging technologies.

In their recent survey, The Practice of Now, 700 accountants were surveyed about technological advancements in accounting and their outlook on how their profession is changing as a consequence of these technologies. The overall consensus was positive, with 96% of respondents saying they are optimistic about what lies ahead.

Ready or not, change is coming

We’ve discussed previously how automation is a changing accounting practices for both accountants and executive-level financial professionals, but we’re really only at the beginning of this transformation. While 86% of accountants see automation as a welcome addition to their workflows, adding value for their clients and lessening the administrative burden, there is also a small minority who remain apprehensive about automation.

In fact, more than 1 in 3 accountants surveyed see emerging technologies like automation and artificial intelligence as the “biggest threat to the accounting professional.” There’s even a stalwart 35% who admit that they enjoy administrative tasks more than any other part of their job. But we know this fear is misplaced.

As Sage’s VP of Bots and AI, Kriti Sharma, notes, “This fear is no different than when personal computers first came around and we were worried about losing our jobs to them – there was a lot of fearmongering at the time. But what happened was that it made our lives easier – we can’t imagine our lives now without personal computing, so this fear is always the case when new technology appears.”

Automation enables a new generation of accounting tools

For accounting professionals, the advent of automation and AI is an opportunity. Accountants relied on tools like handwritten ledgers before Excel became the standard, creating new, unprecedented levels of efficiency. The invention of personal computers made it possible for a tool like Excel to exist, just as automation is providing the necessary framework for a whole new generation of accounting tools.

As an accounts payable automation solution, Beanworks is a great example of how automation can be used to streamline an existing workflow. While up front, Beanworks will save accountants time and resources by nearly eliminating data entry from the AP process, it’s also a tool that connects accounting teams, departments, and companies in a consolidated view, through features like automated invoice routing, on-demand reports, and a robust payments module. Learn more about Beanworks today.

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