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The role of bookkeepers in the UAE has changed in the last couple of years. Bookkeepers in Dubai are no longer performing the traditional activities of only recording and maintaining financial transactions and performing data entries. Many applications by new developers and their collaborations with the new age technology have made most of these processes automated, which do not require any human intervention or require minimal human participation. Bookkeeping and accounting have evolved to become highly specialized professions that now require technological expertise, good business acumen, and analytical skills. The most important skill required is the ability to deal with people in an efficient and professional manner.
Shifts in bookkeeping standards in UAE
Although accounting firms have accrued the public image of being a little hesitant when it comes to new technology adoption, there seems to be a purposeful shift in the way current and innovative accounting firms, and perhaps even the major market players, consider technological developments. Being competitive and significant in a highly uncertain environment means that companies need to migrate from conventional technologies and processes to modern accounting management solutions with technological integrations.
Currently, business owners require bookkeepers who can provide services like giving sound advice on the current accounting management and use new age accounting technology to further optimize its operations, analyze past and present financial data as well as the business metrics to find out the potential problems and areas which need improvement. It is about figuring out the products and services which are not doing well and require to be changed and the ones that generate profits so that their usage or production can be maximized.
New opportunities for bookkeepers and accountants
Compliance is totally being shifted to the cloud. There is no requirement for manual data entries. Instead, that time can be utilized to explore and maintain relationships with the clients. Bookkeepers are facing the pressure to provide substantial services now, due to the transformation phase going on in the accounting space with the constant advances in technology. The accounting software market has become immensely competitive, and the cloud accounting software is becoming the standard for a large number of small to medium businesses for a structured recording of transactions and filing tax returns. These online systems can now connect different bank accounts and facilitate online transactions.
While manual data entry work will start to plummet, it is a massive opportunity for accountants and bookkeepers to level it up and become a person of significance for the small & medium business owners by being their trusted and knowledgeable advisors. Even though technology has automated several processes, but the systems still need to be fed in with accurate information so that it can get processed for the desired outcomes. The data to be fed should be accurate, carefully checked, and relevant to the processes. Also, in cases of technological glitches and for extracting insights out of the automated reports, a modern-day bookkeeper’s skills and domain knowledge would be required. The impact of new technologies on the traditional processes has happened in below-mentioned ways: –
- AI and Big data have created the possibilities of the important information being extracted from the bookkeeping reports and present it to the stakeholders.
- Cost compliance has almost become negligible or is completely ruled out in many cases.
- Thanks to the cloud technologies that the financial data, including the transactions, are accepted, analyzed, and recorded on a real-time basis, and it is accessible from anywhere at any time.
- Bookkeepers today are required and preferred to have a deep knowledge of the concrete concepts of accounting rather than having a basic understanding of record-keeping.
Bookkeeping: An expense or an investment
Traditionally, bookkeeping has functioned to accomplish two purposes, which are compliant with regulations for supervising the tax liabilities and possibilities of fraud; and enabling accountants to prepare financial reports on an annual basis. None of these functions provided any tangible advantages or benefits to the businesses around, and this led bookkeeping in Dubai to be considered as a good for nothing expense.
While redefining the ways we look at bookkeeping, now it is time we do not look at it as a worthless expense but as a wise investment that can prove to be extremely beneficial for our business. Investment is fruitful when it gives returns. Today the modern-day bookkeepers in Dubai not only are adept with the new-age cloud technologies but also make the transactional data seem useful by analyzing it, finding loopholes, and advise the business owners at a micro-level and make informed decisions.
In 2020, accounting firms in UAE are continuing their focus on each of the ways to adopt new technologies as a means of enhancing their business processes. Trends that started in the early to mid-2017 and had gained momentum through 2018 are finding acceptance and implementation in 2019-2020. Let us look at the trends which demand the standards of bookkeeping to be redefined:
- Processes such as invoicing, tracking of inventory, payroll processing, expense management, syncing transactions, and business payments, compiling and generating reports, etc. are the ones that are getting automated at a rapid pace, and they will change the way traditional methods were implemented.
- Businesses are showing more interest in adopting cloud computing tools for better cost benefits, improved security, and making remote work possible.
- With technological integrations, data security needs to be leveled up. The need for advanced security tools has become important.
- For holding its position against competitors, accounting firms need to address the need for providing anytime and anywhere information access. Accountants will be required to bring their own device and record the transactions and have easy access to the data.
- Accountants in UAE will be expected to do some data analysis to provide insights that can be used for strategic planning, mindful investments, and profitable businesses.
With each passing year, technological developments create new opportunities for enabling business advancements. This year is also not going to be quite different. Accounting firms in Dubai will definitely have to reassess the use of existing systems and turn to advanced and sophisticated solutions in order to remain competitive and profitable.
Technology will unquestionably redefine the accounting environment and persuade businesses to explore innovative solutions