As we emerge from the pandemic, it is transparent that technology has transformed the way we work, in all industries, not just the world of accounting and finance. However, within the finance function, technology and digital transformation was already seen as playing a key role in what we do and how, as accountants, it allows us the space to be more productive, become more strategic, be better business partners and to play the key role of trusted advisor within a business, or a practice, that we are qualified to do. We need to harness what we have learned throughout 2020 and ensure we use technology to continue to transform our businesses going forward.
Earlier this year, Deloitte and Fortune published the third instalment of a survey, about how CEOs are recovering in the aftermath of the pandemic. In the survey 85% of CEOs intimated that their organisations had been successful in accelerating their digital transformation strategies throughout 2020 to ensure that they were able to continue to develop relationships with other businesses, partners and colleagues.
Going forward this success needs to be harnessed. As accountants we need to be able to respond quickly to change and disruption. We needed to do this throughout the pandemic and develop the resilience required to cope with the demands of our roles, and technology has played a big part in helping us to do that. We need to build on this resilience and enhance it further so we are prepared for changes and disruption that may lie ahead.
Deloitte suggested that during 2020 we needed to transform, to focus and to execute and use digital technologies to enable business transformation. Going forward Janet Foutty from Deloitte suggests there are some key digital strategies we should now look to implement:
- Take a "visual first" perspective – when we are thinking about going back into the office physically, we should examine whether the physical aspect is the important bit, or is it now just as important that we are able to use technology to "visualise" each other to build and strengthen relationships, as we have during 2020.
- Find agility and extensibility in the cloud – it goes without saying that moving things to the cloud can create greater security, standardisation, scalability and automation.
- Automate decision making where you can, and where it counts – in using AI etc technologies in our roles as accountants, straightforward decisions can be made, leaving us more time in our busy days to focus on other more taxing tasks.
- Amplify product/service innovation – technology can offer us opportunities to provide our products/services more quickly and to a higher quality than ever.
- Become an accelerator – as an accountant, encourage digital transformation and new technologies. Be an advocate for them with the people and clients you work with.
The survey talks about 2021 being a year of hope. As accountants and finance professionals we can start to look ahead, help our businesses to recover with optimism and build the resilience we need to handle change in the future. Technology can play a big part in helping us to do this.
Your can find out more about the detail of the report here: