Technology continues to change the accounting profession. For instance, accountants are increasingly using data frameworks for tax evaluation and collection, administrative auditing, and financial bookkeeping. The field is also experiencing advancements reporting, especially following the emergence of the extensible business reporting dialect (XBRL) (Wadhwa and Harper, 2015). Information systems of financial accounting are relevant to people both within and without organizations. Among some of the accounting professionals that such information technologies (IT) are relevant to are; investors, state and federal tax agents, and creditors. Accountants have a significant reliance on financial information systems for preparation of income statements, cash flow statements, and balance sheets, among many others. Organizational managers also need financial reports as the accountants prepare them for decision-making purposes and planning. Real-time reporting is a significant contribution of technology to the accounting profession. Therefore, technology is beneficial to the sector. There are specific software and technologies that improve the accounting profession.
New Technologies and Software that Improve the Accounting Process
Several technologies and software are new and improve the accounting process. The first one is computer-integrated manufacturing. According to Sutton (2000), this technology has the most impact on cost accountants. Computers collect and report information simultaneously with the electronic production. The consequence is an operation information system that integrates fully with accounting and marketing data. In the process, it improves the timeliness of the information, as well as the quantity thereof. The technology allows the development of activity-based costing systems and affects the allocation of overhead. Other than that, there are technological tools that promote efficiency by transferring data between corporations and among customers, offices, and divisions. Sutton (2000) states that communications technology combines technology that transfers data to the different recipients. It is important in large accounting firms due to their communications capabilities that have significant enhancements. Since it also has a global aspect, it ensures that the accounting organizations maintain their international competitiveness.
Then, there is the internet. Internet transactions are accurate and timely. Electronic commerce is relatively a new phenomenon but utilizes both communications technology and internet sales by linking up different computer systems. According to Boritz and Stoner (2014), the internet, with the combination of communications technology, leads to fast information transfer among accounting firms and entities. Accountants are also able to get the most current information. In the same school of thought, paperwork is soon becoming obsolete because of advancements in accounting technology. Paperwork is burdensome to accounting entities and slows down accounting work. Image processing is a good example of technology that is championing the elimination of paperwork by converting paper into images, leading to timely and efficient information. Furthermore, there are expert systems, which are advanced accounting software that assists accountants in making decisions because they are artificial intelligence (Boritz and Stoner, 2014). They are significantly useful in tax and auditing decision-making but can prepare statements and control inventory as well. One of the best examples of expert systems software is Quicken 4 for Windows, which provides accountants with interactive advice, multimedia tutorials, and online documentation (Boritz and Stoner, 2014). Similarly, there is Manufacturer’s Inventory, which is software that posts the goods to their proper accounts as they move through the manufacturing process. The mentioned examples of software are a few of expert systems that are relevant to the contemporary accounting field.
Another new technology regards group completion of work. There is workflow technology that collaborates with computing and provides success in teamwork. Its design is to transfer information among different organizational workgroups. It is a type of software that increases the numbers of workers that participate in any form of company task and provides the knowledge and input necessary in the project. In the same line of thinking, there is a central database of organizations that ensure that an organization keeps its books efficiently. Wadhwa and Harper (2015) gives an example of a multinational corporation (MNC) that uses this kind of technology and software as General Motors (GM), which incorporates all its data into a database that is central. It ensures that the information is accurate, current, and accessible to the relevant parties. Finally, there is the “Completely Integrated Business Environment” (CBE), which is an accounting system that stores data for companies (Wadhwa and Harper, 2015). It organizes workflow information without eliminating vital details in the process. CIBE is software that integrates all management and financial information in a single corporate database. It allows businesses to operate effectively and efficiently.
Changes by Technology in my Current Company
Technology brought many changes in my current organization. There are specific software and other forms that make substantial differences in the workplace. The most notable ones are QuickBooks and Sage. Sage and QuickBooks have predefined and set accounting roles that are vital in the accounting process. My organization uses both. There is also Excel. It is a spreadsheet program that stores and retrieves numerical data in a grid format of rows and columns. It is ideal for the analysis and calculations of company data such as commissions, sales tax, and sales figures. My company widely uses Excel for analysis. Another form of technology that contributes to the company’s accounting is email. Emails are communication tools that are accurate and timely. They are also safe. Both Excel and emails are excellent for both financial and accounting purposes. The last one is computer assisted audit techniques (CAATs). They increase audit coverage with a reduction in risk and consistent analyses of accounting data.
- Boritz, J. E., & Stoner, G. N. (2014). Technology in accounting. The Routledge Companion to Accounting Education, 1(16), 247-275. doi:10.4324/9781315889801.ch16
- Sutton, S. G. (2000). The changing face of accounting in an information technology dominated world. International Journal of Accounting Information Systems, 1(1), 1-8. doi:10.1016/s1467-0895(99)00002-0
- Wadhwa, M., & Harper, A. H. (2015). Technology, innovation, and enterprise transformation. Pennsylvania: IGI Global.