Technology is one of the biggest factors affecting how companies do business. With the constantly changing technological climate of the world around us, accounting software companies are constantly working to build new products. In the past, accounting has lagged behind some other industries, but this year it seems that accounting is bringing itself into the 21st century in a few ways:

  • Accounting is embracing cloud technology

The cloud has been around for a few years, and a number of industries have moved into the cloud. In 2016, the accounting software industry will finally join these other industries by embracing cloud technology. Last year, research conducted by Capterra showed that four out of 10 accounting software users were in the cloud. This is pretty low considering the technological advancements that have been made.

The main reason this took so long was because providers did not have many robust options in the cloud. Cloud-based options were never as strong or flexible as local installations. Now, companies like Intuit are making more efforts to get people into the cloud. Intuit is able to charge users a monthly fee, accountants can access their customers’ files more easily, and customers can access their accounts from anywhere.

  • Computers will start doing the reading

The industry of accounting is now operating with the help of optical character recognition. Optical character recognition, also known as OCR, is a type of technology that turns images into text that you can read and edit. This means you can take a picture of a surface such as your white board and turn it into a document in minutes. This document will have all the handwritten notes typed out.

This technology helps accountants say goodbye to the hand-entered receipt. In the past, customers have sent their accountants large envelopes of receipts that are often hard to read. Optical character recognition will make this issue a thing of the past. The receipts will be uploaded right to an online accounting platform. The relevant text and data will be pulled out in the process. Some companies involved in this are Receipt Bank, Hubdoc, and Expensify.

  • Everything will end up in the same place

The accounting market has had a lot of gaps in it for quite a while. Payroll and invoicing were very separate and credit cards typically trickled in halfway through the month. In most other industries, packages came with invoices built in. Accounting is finally going to operate this way too.

Basic accounting packages will now be created in order to make things more streamlined. This is more in line with the way finances are done today. With regard to the few tools that will not be a part of the core system, there will be tight integrations with third-party systems. These systems will be utilizing the cloud and OCR. The integrations will have two basic functions. One function will be to keep customers invested in the software brand they have chosen. The other function will be to give accountants more tools. This will give the accountant more time to focus helping customers make and save money.

Overall, new technology is helping to make the accounting industry run a lot more smoothly. With the help of this revolutionary technology, doing business will be easier for customers and accountants alike.