A new report released by Caseware, Understanding Technology Attitudes Within UK Finance Professionals, has shed light on the perceptions accountants have when it comes to digital disruption.
“Technology is affecting finance professionals — both within corporate finance departments and accountancy practices of every size,” the report noted.
“From cloud computing to mobile accounting, artificial intelligence to blockchain, technology is having a fundamental impact not only on day-to-day activity but client relationships and revenue streams.
“Questions still arise, however, not only regarding the speed of technology-led change, but also surrounding the attitudes of finance professionals. Are individuals embracing the automation and ease of information sharing enabled by cloud computing? Is there a fear of AI-inspired job loss or delight at the opportunity to move away from manual tasks and embrace client-facing activity?”
According to the research, of those surveyed, 34 per cent thought AI will have the most impact on their working life over the next five years. Meanwhile, 31 per cent said they believe cloud computing will have the strongest impact.
This was followed by mobile accounting (26 per cent), business intelligence (25 per cent), big data analytics/advanced analytics (23 per cent), business process management (21 per cent) and workflow automation (20 per cent).
A further 17 per cent said robot processing automation (RPA) would have the most impact on their working life over the next five years, 16 per cent said intelligent processing automation, 13 per cent said machine learning and 7 per cent said blockchain.
“Cloud computing has already made a significant impact on working life, with 38 per cent of fee earning engagements — including tax returns, audits and filing accounts — already conducted on a cloud-based system,” the report said.
“Delve down into the detail and almost a third (31 per cent) of firms are doing half or more of their fee-earning engagements in cloud systems, which is a huge endorsement for the value of this way of working.”