Europe Fintech Insights

Accountancy Industry Looks To Embrace Automation, New Research Reveals

Fifty-seven per cent of accounting professionals predict that accountancy will become completely cloud-based or automated within the next few years.

Accountancy, both in industry and practice, looks to automation as a pathway to its future, according to a survey of accounting professionals by Moss, a new fintech specialising in transforming the finance management of small to medium enterprises (SMEs) that is set to launch in the UK.

More than half of respondents (57 per cent) predict that accountancy will become completely cloud-based or automated within the next few years as the sector embraces greater levels of innovation.

This shift can be considered a legacy of the pandemic, which forced industries and professions across the board to re-examine their use of digital tools and technologies to facilitate remote working. Two years on, accountancy, once largely analogue, is no longer looking to these tools for its survival, but its future.

Almost three-quarters (74 per cent) of the accounting professionals surveyed deemed digital technology to be the most critical tool to understand in order to future proof their business. Indeed, 56 per cent state that motivating clients to digitise their processes and reduce their costs is the most pressing need for their practice.

Key findings on spend management

Amid today’s economic uncertainties, financial management skills and streamlining company spend has become a vital part of the finance function. A significant proportion (32 per cent) of respondents revealed that maintaining data accuracy throughout the spend management process was their biggest challenge.

Fortunately, spend management was the area anticipated to undergo the greatest technological change, with just under one-third (30 per cent) of respondents predicting it would become completely automated in the next five to 10 years.

Summary of key findings

These include:

  • 57 per cent of accounting professionals predict that accountancy will become completely cloud-based or automated within the next few years
  • 74 per cent of accounting professionals say digital technology will be the most critical tool to understand in order to future proof their business or organisation
  • 30 per cent of accounting professionals predict spend management will become completely automated in the next five to 10 years
  • 56 per cent of accounting professionals believe that motivating clients to digitise their processes and reduce their costs is the most pressing need for their practice
    Accounting professionals spend 11 to 20 hours per month collecting and tracking receipts and invoices, chasing missing ones from clients, and pre-accounting expenses
  • 32 per cent of accounting professionals say their biggest struggle with spend management is maintaining data accuracy
  • 45 per cent of accounting professionals say banking and financial services is the sector that could most benefit from improved and more efficient spend management systems
  • 46 per cent of accounting professionals say they have very recently started adopting next-gen technology such as AI, ML cloud computing and 5G.

Commenting on the survey findings, Mike Panzeri, general manager, Moss UK, said: “The Covid-19 pandemic and Brexit have understandably had a significant impact on the accountancy profession, but this hasn’t impacted our business growth. We’re still in a state of hypergrowth despite the rocky circumstances.

“Our research actually highlights the massive opportunity for innovative SMEs around the world to take advantage of the untapped powerhouse of digitised spend management. In fact, findings like these are the very reason Moss is so excited to launch in the UK as evidently, there is a very real demand for this type of solution.”

The survey of 100 accounting professionals at Accountex London 2022 was completed by Liberty Comms on behalf of Moss at the London ExCeL.

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