Technology could make life harder for accountants

Just fewer than half of UK finance professionals have reported increased
stress levels, a report by global recruitment consultancy Robert Half has
revealed – and excessive technology could be to blame.

Accountants could be spending more time ‘crunching the numbers’ as they have
too many systems to correlate with business intelligency software providers
Design Bi has said.

Design Bi said operational systems can cause more work as accountants have to
link customer relationship management software and credit rating systems as well
as billing and invoicing technology to create the numbers.

The company has also suggested accountants continue to ‘hand-craft’ financial
reports in an understandable format for its clients and are not given
flexibility with numbers creating added work loads.

David Harmer, managing director and chartered accountant, said: ‘I see lots
of companies and it’s the same story everywhere – teams of people downloading
data into spreadsheets, adding rules, and presenting it back to managers in an
acceptable form.’

‘IT departments will often need to prevent finance users from having free
reign to run queries and reports to find it because the performance of
operational systems would degrade if they were to do so’ a company spokesman at
Design BI said.

Another time consuming element for accountants includes tracking financial
reports that have been sent out and ensuring the data has not been corrupted
when it is.

CIMA has suggested business intelligence is something accountancy firms
should be looking at in the regulatory climate to improve performance.

A statement by CIMA said: ‘Business intelligence could help to release
accountants from the reporting cycle to provide the decision support expected by
progressive businesses.’

Further reading:

The Accountancy Age Guide to Turning Technology to your
Advantage in a Downturn

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