Are the robots taking over?
When I was growing up, there were many films about the uprising of robots and how we needed to be worried not just for our jobs but our lives in the cold face of modern technology. Fast forward to where we are now and it’s clear that although we don’t need to fear for our lives, we do need to embrace technology and recognise what it can do to improve how we run and make decisions in our businesses.
The drive towards technology isn’t new but what is revolutionary is the wide spread application of digitalisation across all areas of the business. As a business owner trying to keep on top of all new tech seems like an impossible task. New tech like anything, must be sifted, tried and tested to ensure it has the appropriate application to your business.
Some of these changes have been impacted by compliance, including the move of HMRC to Making Tax Digital (MTD). Changes like this have forced businesses to embrace technology in some capacity and hopefully, in time, will showcase the benefits of doing so. MTD is nothing to fear. The ability for HMRC to access real time information means that the relationship with HMRC will be an easier one, no longer will you be required to pull out paper records that can often be incomplete or missing. Engaging with HMRC on a more regular basis should remove the stress and worry that can often be attached to such queries.
Those benefits will only come with an understanding that with any new technology there is a learning curve. Anyone can blindly enter data into a cloud accounting software programme. It’s about understanding what the data means in isolation but also in aggregate for your business. If you are suddenly presented with real time information about your business that can help you make informed decisions, what would you do with it? Technology isn’t about going it alone but working hand in hand with an advisor who can help you on that learning journey to get the most meaningful information out of your numbers so that you can use the information in the most optimal way.
It is important to remember that when there is change there is always disruption. When implementing technological changes there will undoubtedly be disruption but technological disruption is more about creating an opportunity than creating a threat. Technology enables us to look at the tasks we do on a daily basis and analyse what tasks we can automate to make our jobs better now and in the future. There is no need to enter in purchase invoice details or even bank transactions – artificial intelligence enabled applications can do this for you allowing you to concentrate on the difficult and specialist items.
Technology and the opportunities it affords aren’t only for millennials. Digital advancements can never replace human experience. Every business is unique and requires a bespoke solution that technology on its own simply cannot design – technology needs to go hand-in-hand with experience which will ideally include the key areas of accounting, tax, payroll, data capture, project management and VAT. By embracing cloud technology, and engaging with a dedicated virtual finance service for example, you can access CFO advice without the cost and commitment of a full time employee. Having a clearer understanding of these areas, in real time, will empower you to make decisions now and in the future to help you grow and develop your business.
Advancement in technology is and the cloud are only the beginning, while technology provides more timely and better quality information, only humans can provide advice. The virtual finance function at AAB enables you to build a bespoke solution for your business using a combination of technology and advisory services to build the optimal solution for your business.
For more information please contact Lauren McIlroy or your usual AAB contact.