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Today’s accounting industry is very different from even just five years ago. Dynamic (and beneficial) disruption has driven development as users of accounting software demand and need more. Traditional accounting is a thing of the past, but what is the future of accounting software?

For any small business, the right accounting software can provide a much-needed competitive advantage in even the most crowded sector. No longer forced to rely on local accountants, today’s business owner is taking advantage of the giant advances in accounting software capability. But what’s next for the future of accounting software, and how will the coming changes improve accounting for small business owners?

Cloud-based accounting software

There’s no disputing that the future of small business accounting software is all about the cloud. From improved security to real-time updates, there are simply too many advantages to using cloud-based accounting software. That’s why at Big Red Cloud, we have ensured full cloud capability from day one. 

Recent announcements regarding the discontinuation of the desktop version of accounting software QuickBooks have only highlighted that going cloud-based is the future of accounting software. With remote teams on the rise, the easy collaboration and accessibility of cloud-based software will only grow in value. So the future of accounting software is going to remain cloud-based. It may already be here, but it’s not going anywhere soon.

Artificial intelligence and accounting software

Artificial intelligence (AI) is being used across every function of a modern business model. From chatbots that empower customer service teams to big data analysis, AI is changing how even small businesses operate at maximum efficiency. And that includes accounting efficiency.

Accountants and bookkeepers are increasingly expecting that their software has automation included. Manually inputting invoices and receipts into accounting software is a thing of the past. Instead, they are automatically inputted and then immediately reconciled, all without any additional work by the business owner or the accountant. While it’s unlikely that AI will replace an accountant (yet), the sheer power of modern AI immediately reduces operational redundancy, improving workflow and boosting productivity.

Any small business accounting software that isn’t adopting AI integration will only fade into obscurity as it is outpaced by more proactive developers.

A note on blockchain

If predictions are correct, blockchain will be the future of business, not just accounting software. The technology, which is largely linked to cryptocurrency, offers a level of transparency with obvious advantages (the inability to commit accounting fraud, for example). However, there are risks to adopting blockchain use for a business.

There are growing arguments against blockchain use and a backlash against cryptocurrency in general. And that’s a shame because blockchain and accounting go hand in hand. Blockchain can reduce the cost of reconciling and then maintaining nominal ledgers while also delivering a 100% certainty of asset ownership and value. It could be a way to earn immediate transparency over both brand obligations and resources.

But those days are distant right now. The general public is still, generally, mystified by the concept of blockchain. Until awareness is raised and the public is more educated, only then will they be able to make a more informed decision about its value in the business environment. While there are already some accounting resources that bridge the gap between the software and the blockchain, this seems unlikely to be a fast-moving development until consumer buy-in is met.

Accounting software and integrations

As the business world is forced to evolve, so too is accounting software. Robust integrations are now more critical than ever, and those integrations need to be seamless. Being able to coordinate and work alongside constantly evolving apps and add-ons is vital, and that need will only grow. 

From eCommerce brands to large scale retailers and B2B firms, accounting software needs to be able to easily integrate with:

  • CRM software
  • Payroll (including time tracking apps)
  • Invoice management
  • Logistics management

The current issue is that many accounting software types don’t integrate well with third-party tools, and the ones that do are often buggy if they’re available at all. To eliminate those problems, accounting software firms are working more closely with app developers so that their digital ecosystems are more aligned. 

Out of the box accounting software is already improving its connectivity to third-party integrations. The future of accountancy software will be when those integrations no longer feel like integrations and instead allow for seamless amalgamation.

The future of accounting software is here

From the innovative solutions to the advancing technologies, the future of small business accounting software is certainly no mystery. Indeed, much of the focus is on ways of working and technologies already here. Instead, the focus for future accounting software will be to improve the use of the existing tech and working methods.

At Big Red Cloud, we have always been on the cutting edge of what accounting software is capable of. Our cloud-based accounting software is designed to help business owners and accountants alike streamline their workflows and take the pain out of balancing the books. And that leads to rapid gains, as SMEs are better able to use the cold, hard facts of their accounting to earn insights that can accelerate growth.

If you’re interested in finding out more about how the right small business accounting software can benefit your business in a range of ways, contact the Big Red Cloud team today. We can talk through what you need from your bookkeeping and work together to ensure that your cash flow is never mismanaged and you never go over budget. Alternatively, you can get hands-on with a free trial and find out for yourself how the right cloud-based accounting software can transform your business potential.

Marc O'Dwyer

Marc O'Dwyer

After completing a Graduate program in Marketing, Marc’s impressive sales career began at Allied Irish Banks, Pitney Bowes and Panasonic where he received numerous Irish and European sales performance awards and consistently exceeded targets and expectations. In 1992, Marc’s entrepreneurial spirit led him to set up his own business, Irish International Sales (IIS). Initially, this company was a reseller for Take 5 Accounts and Payroll software. Within four years, IIS became the largest reseller of Take 5 in Ireland, acquiring four other Take 5 resellers. He also found time to set up two mobile phone shops under the Cellular World brand and a web design company offering website design services for small businesses. In 2001, he bought the majority share in a small Irish software business, Big Red Book. At that time, the company was losing money. The company became profitable within two months, and Marc then acquired a payroll company to compliment Big Red Books Accounting products. In 2003, IIS were appointed as Channel Partners with SAP for their new SME product, SAP Business One. Marc sold his Take 5 business and concentrated on developing this new market for SAP As a result, by 2007, IIS was recognised as the largest Channel Partner for SAP in EMEA (Europe Middle East and Africa). In 2008, the IIS Sales Manager bought the Company from Marc in an MBO. He launched Big red cloud in June 2012, the online version of big red book, to date the company successfully converts 59% of trials into sales and the number of customers is growing rapidly. Marc continues to run both Big Red Book and Big Red Cloud which now support 75,000 businesses. He is a very keen sportsman, having played rugby for 20 years, represented Leinster at under 16 and under 20 levels, and league squash with Fitzwilliam Lawn Tennis Club for 10 years. Marc has competed in 11 Marathons, including the London and Boston Marathons, and has completed several Triathlons and Half Ironman races. He has also completed six Ironman Races in Austria(x2), Frankfurt (Germany), Nice (France) , Mallorca (Spain) and Copenhagen (Denmark)