With the surge in popularity of smartphones, industries of every kind are now going mobile. Accounting is no exception. Accounting firms large and small are implementing mobile technology to improve productivity and allow accountants to better interact with clients. As an aspiring accounting professional, this new technology will affect your future career. There are certainly benefits of mobile accounting practices, but there are also a lot of issues for accounting firms to consider and decisions for them to weigh as they begin embracing mobile technology.
The Benefits of Mobile Accounting
Today, people have access to their cell phones, tablets and other mobile devices 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This allows for greater connectivity not only among colleagues in the accounting profession but also between them and their clients.
While 24/7 connectivity can be too much – certainly accountants, like professionals in any industry, need a sustainable work-life balance – it can also be a great help during crunch-time periods, like right before the annual April 15th income tax deadline. Accountants can also use mobile technology to keep track of interactions and see if a matter requires urgent attention, or if it can wait.
Mobile technology can also allow for some flexibility and mobility for accounting professionals, Accounting Web reported. This technology allows accountants to work and access the firm’s network remotely, so they can work from anywhere.
The Issues Accounting Firms Consider When Going Mobile
Implementing mobile accounting isn’t as simple as it may sound. There are a lot of questions firms need to consider, according to Accounting Today.
Some of these concerns revolve around the firm’s goals. Not every accounting firm understands mobile accounting the same way or uses it for the same purpose. Firms need to decide what their goals are and how they will achieve those goals. Which of the firm’s personnel will have mobile privileges? Will the company provide a device, or will the employees use their own?
Then there are concerns about keeping the technology up-to-date and secure. With technology constantly evolving, embracing mobile accounting isn’t a one-time change. Firms will need a plan to update the technology regularly to help keep employee systems running efficiently and prevent security vulnerabilities from emerging. How will they comply with regulations? How will the company protect clients’ sensitive financial information from hackers and cyberattacks?
Accounting firms also need to make technical choices. Is an app more suited to their goals, or a mobile website? Should the firm make the same tools available on both formats, or restrict those tools to users who have downloaded an app? Different people use a wide variety of different devices, and the technology must work efficiently on all of them.
As you earn your degree and find your place in the accounting field, there’s a good chance that mobile technology will play a role in your professional life – especially as more accounting firms continue to jump on the bandwagon and take their business mobile.