Financial management meets technology: the dawn of a new era

Financial management has traditionally been perceived as a world of files, numbers, tables and reports, where accuracy and diligence are paramount. However, in recent years, we have seen a significant change in the way financial management is approached and work tasks are performed. Technology has stepped in and revolutionised the sector in a way never seen before.

Digitalisation has changed and will continue to change the playing field

Digitalisation has been a key driver of change in financial management. The shift from paper invoices to e-invoices is beginning to be seen in Finland, but in countries such as Sweden and Denmark, the transformation is clearly lagging behind. This change has enabled completely new workflows and made things much more efficient, as many manual steps have been eliminated by the automation made possible by e-invoicing.

Automation is one of the most significant innovations brought about by technology in financial management. Routine tasks such as invoice processing, payment transactions and reporting can now be automated, freeing up the time of finance professionals to focus more on customer-facing, value-added tasks. Rule-based automation and artificial intelligence already allow purchase invoices to go through the invoicing process fully automatically, with the accountant intervening only in exceptional situations.

Software robotics, for its part, frees up time for the repetitive routines that still abound in financial management. Not only is a robot faster than a human, it is often more accurate than a human because it repeats the process the same way every time.

Data and analytics provide deeper understanding

The technology enables the collection and analysis of huge amounts of data in real time, which opens up new perspectives for the development of the accounting firm's own operations, as well as for the analytics produced by the data for clients. Data analytics and advanced reporting tools allow companies to make decisions based on numbers faster and more accurately than ever before. This not only helps to identify areas for improvement, but also to anticipate future trends and opportunities.

Cybersecurity as a priority

As financial management moves more and more into the digital world, the importance of cybersecurity is highlighted. Ensuring data security is critical, as financial and, above all, personal data are sensitive and protecting them from misuse is of paramount importance. For accounting firms, this means greater investment in security and staff training to ensure they have the skills to identify and prevent cyber threats.

Future prospects for the sector

The industry is currently at a very interesting turning point. With this disruption, accounting firms with the ability to invest in technology will be in a clear position to differentiate themselves from more traditional accounting firms.Investments in technology will not only lead to more efficient operations, but also to new job descriptions. Free working time can be reallocated, for example, to innovate new services for customers.

Personally, I believe that the recipe for a winning accountancy firm of the future will be built on technological prowess, innovation in new services and strong internationalisation. This will provide finance professionals with entirely new career paths, making the industry much more attractive to future employees. 

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