Doing the accounting: it doesn't get much dustier than that, does it? While a lot of trends and developments can also be observed in the field of accountancy. This means that keeping the accounts in 2020 does not have to be a dusty affair. We went hunting for you.
1. Digital assistance
Photograph your receipts via an app, amounts that automatically run through in your profit and loss account and link your bank account to your accounting so that all credits and debits are processed automatically; in the digital age you no longer have to do so much yourself. One time put everything down well and then have years of convenience, that's the idea. This digital help goes further and further: suppliers' invoices can now be automatically processed so that you no longer have to worry about that either. Does it sound a bit exciting, a system that gets rid of 'your' bank account? Possibly, but the future must also be a little exciting, right?
Now I myself have been switching from Excel to Moneybird for a year now, a popular accounting program that is very complete (and yet competitively priced). This video shows you how to process purchase invoices and receipts quickly. Other accounting packages will undoubtedly offer the same functionality in 2020.
The flip side of all those technological developments: you don't want your data to fall into the wrong hands. In 2020, security will become an immensely important theme within accountancy. See your company being held hostage because the accounting is through ransomware made inaccessible, it is now becoming the biggest nightmare of every entrepreneur. Sound security and well-trained personnel are the only means that can reduce the risk of such a doom scenario. We will probably see a number of harrowing cases on the news in 2020.
3. Machine learning
And it becomes even more exciting there: applying machine learning to your administration gives your accounting software predictive power and the ability to detect irregularities. Crazy transactions are immediately noticeable and, so to speak, you can already prepare the balance for next month. In the field of accounting software a lot is happening, a lot, so the entrepreneur who wants to make things a little easier for himself, is orientating himself on a versatile package with all the comforts that entails.
In this video you can see how a (American) service provider called Botkeeper uses AI for accounting. And while this video is from November 2018, you can use this kind of smart AI applications now also expect in the Netherlands.
4. Instant payment
Waiting for your money is an annoying feeling and the good news is that the number of times that will happen to you in 2020 will fall further. Thanks to better IT facilities, interbank payment transactions have been thoroughly improved in recent years. In 2020 we will see that transfers between banks will take a few seconds instead of a few hours, also in the evenings and during the weekend. That opens the doors for real real-time accounting: customer has paid = money is in your account.
In the retail sector, focusing on B2C and B2B, there are all kinds of exciting developments in which tech giant Amazon is taking the lead. With innovations in face recognition, computer vision, sensor fusion and deep learning, Amazon Go knows how to get the payment process out of the shopping experience. You can also see how important that is for retail success in Starbucks. When the coffee company discovered that its customers mainly bought gift cards to be able to pay quickly, Starbucks invested heavily in a loyalty program including a payment system. The Starbucks Reward Program is the most successful loyalty program today.
5. More services from banks
For anyone who does not hire an accountant or purchase an accounting package, there is of course always the service provided by the banks themselves, and that service is growing. This concerns both free services and paid assistance. With PSD2, for example, you can handle banking matters faster with customers and suppliers without the bank having to be involved. In addition, more and more banks offer free tools and overviews that allow you to gain insight into expenses and income on your current (business) account. For many freelancers, this may be sufficient to seriously simplify accounting.
Curious about what PSD2 means?
With PSD2, new service providers can request access to your financial data and offer all kinds of interesting services for it. Such as the automatic retrieval of twice paid invoices.
6. Analyze instead of registering
The many trends in the field of accounting can ultimately be summarized in one general trend: doing accounting in the future will become more an art of analysis instead of registration. Beat numbers of paper in an Excel sheet, for which we will all use smart software in the near future. It is about whether you as an entrepreneur also do something with all that automatically generated information. The result of your accounting is then no longer just a throbbing cash book, but also a thorough analysis of your cash flows and where you could implement improvements.
For accountants and accountants, that is the overarching trend of recent years: their added value shifts from entering and checking to analysis and giving advice. Because with the smart accounting packages that are now on the market, it is only a matter of time before the bulk of the entrepreneurs do it themselves. This shift means for accountants and accountants that they will have to come to the fore more, make themselves heard and present a good story. Content marketing in the financial sector is therefore rising sharply, we notice.