|Accountants will leverage big data in 2020 / Photo Credit: pattarawat (via Shutterstock)|
Data analytics, AI, machine learning, blockchain, and robotic process automation will be playing a much prominent role in accountancy this year, per the report of the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA), a worldwide association of accountants and financial professionals, stated Michael Cohn of Accounting Today, a news platform on accounting. The report underscored that finance and accounting professionals are increasingly implementing big data in their business operations, which will likely continue in the future. The IMA surveyed its members, receiving 170 responses from CFOs and other management accountants. Most of the CFOs are anticipating big changes for 2020 in their businesses. The report said, “Four key elements must be present for organizations looking to become data-driven: data-savvy people, quality data, state-of-the-art tools and a supportive organizational culture.”
Management accountants are welcoming data science and analytics to bolster performance at their companies, as well as their firms’ data governance and analysis capabilities. Hence, accountants will need to continuously learn all the necessary skills to keep up with technology while acting as strategic business partners at their respective companies. Raef Lawson, professor-in-residence and vice president of research and policy at the IMA, noted, “One of the big takeaways was the number of companies deploying big data is expected to double in the near future, and the potential to improve organizational performance is very significant for those organizations.” He added that the rate at which firms are deploying big data is even greater than some new technologies like data visualization or robotics process automation, “which isn’t to say they’re mutually exclusive.” Enterprises can use leading-edge analytics to gain a significant advantage over their competitors. Lawson said, “With the evolution of analytical tools, all organizations — regardless of size — need to start going down the analytics road in order to remain competitive.”
He stated that employees need blockchain and RPA for the financial function, but big data will enable that function to improve its insights and become a strategic advisor within the enterprise. Lawson said they are providing resources for management accountants to develop their skills with their new certificate program and they will test those skills on their updated CMA exam.