The Covid pandemic that hit the world in 2020 brought forth the urgency to digitalize. Exchanges shut down overnight and remote trading took over, people started using mobile banking services, apps started seeing record transactions and call-center staffs kept offering support services from their homes. Things have not changed much as we moved into 2021 and it is quite evident that the changes that had to be introduced to keep things flowing last year will continue to remain. Here are some of the leading finance trends for 2021:
- Automated Accounting: This has helped thousands of companies to improve their compliance. Using automation technology, it is possible to cut down the tedious manual tasks of data crunching and spreadsheets that accountants were burdened with earlier. Instead, they can now focus on value-adding tasks which demand person-to-person interactions. So, automation technologies is one of the top finance trends that are here to do away with human errors, eliminate confusion, cut down time and efforts, and accelerate tedious tasks through high productivity.
- Remote Accounting Work: The pandemic taught us the value of remote working, not matter what the industry. Digital accounting technologies have made it possible for accountants to work from their homes without compromising on their service quality. While people may have taken to work-from-home routines quickly, companies are focusing on sophisticated cyber-security measures to prevent data breaches. Accounting work, whether it is analyzing data or managing records, is largely digitalized so that anyone from any place can access such data and work on it.
- Cloud-based Accounting: Today, the cloud is the most popular choice for accounting companies to store their data because it can allocate resources far better and eliminates the need to use hardware. Professionals working in financial companies can enjoy access to the cloud at all times as long as they have web connectivity. They no longer have to be chained to their offices or forced to work in distant data centers. As we move into 2021, it will become important for these accounting firms to adopt digital transformation and innovate accordingly. Cloud service providers will be responsible for integrating and updating systems, allowing internal teams more time and resources to focus on strategic tasks.
- More Digital Payments: This has been perhaps the biggest change to hit the financial world in 2020 and one that is not slowing down in 2021 too. According to a report by Accenture, almost 420 billion transactions are expected to move from cash to digital by 2023. Superior technologies have made it easy for end-customers to outsource their payments while accountants are not finding it a challenge to include those transactions.
- ESG Reporting: ESG had been a prime focus for companies even prior to the global pandemic because this helps businesses to carry out corporate social responsibility. This focus on ethical issues and sustainability is still very much a topic of deliberation inside board rooms and responsible investing has emerged as a new trend.
- Blockchain: This has been a welcome change that people are hoping will remain as 2021 progresses and more and more businesses start using blockchain systems for transactions or financial services. Reports indicate that expenses on blockchain solutions worldwide will be around $16 billion by 2023.
- Data Analytics: This is another leading financial trend that is expected to benefit and change the accounting world, just like automated accounting. So, the demands for professional data specialists are going to shoot up. Using data analytics, companies can get far better insights into their performances which in turn help them to take better decisions.