The pandemic of COVID-19 brought the certainty that it is no longer possible to deny the need to accelerate the digital transformation of companies and businesses. To adapt to the increased consumption of products and services over the internet, we need to improve the quality of information, reduce costs and boost efficiency.
Cloud-based Business Analytics and Machine Learning technologies contribute to a new service delivery model in the accounting industry. Automation and robotization of processes reduce the time to perform manual and routine tasks and increase analytical capabilities.
The challenges for this new reality are not only in terms of technology but also in terms of skills. The accountant needs to be an accountant 4.0 and not "just" someone who masters technical accounting or tax issues.
Retraining accountants is an essential move for professionals and businesses. We must develop new skills to exploit the potential of new technologies. Without that, it won't be possible to use the advantages offered, such as providing high value-added service to their clients' management decisions.
Gartner has identified the various digital investments that CEOs and CFOs believe will improve the performance and efficiency of their companies:
For companies, particularly finance departments, this is the time to look at and invest in upskilling their employees and digital transformation. We should think that this is an ecosystem that should be functioning and communicating with the same language. Such that terms like Robotic Process Automation (RPA), Hyperautomation, Advanced Data Analytics and Cloud Adoption should be as commonplace as the most basic accounting terms like a trial balance are today.
These skills will reinforce the importance of understanding new technologies based on Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning; Connecting stakeholders to new capabilities; Learning as quickly and effectively as feasible; Increasing stakeholder confidence in new technologies, and embracing technology for better business outcomes.
Business back office automation was identified as the area to leverage for better performance and efficiency, identifying Advanced Data analytics and RPA as the technologies to use.
If on one hand, an RPA can be limited by its rigid rules and can't perform decision-oriented tasks, on the other, when added to machine learning we can use it for more complex processes. Such as budgets or forecasts, identifying improvement points in these processes, releasing time for data analysis and more informed decision-making.
No less important is the reference to the social responsibility that is incumbent on all of us and that digital transformation has allowed materializing: accounting is still a paper world. So, digitalization represents an excellent opportunity to become more environmentally sustainable. This transformation must also come along through governmental measures that progressively lead us to stamp out the obligation to issue paper documents.
For the grupoGBI, 2023 will continue to be a year of opportunities to participate in our clients' digitalization and digital transformation projects, seeking to offer the most advanced and efficient technological solutions.