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West African Accountants: Are you Embracing new Technologies to better support your Clients?

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Do you wish that you, as an accountant, had more time to spend building relationships with your clients and giving them business advice?

In my discussions with practicing accountants, I often hear them say that they wish they could spend fewer hours balancing books, preparing reports and recording transactions, and more on adding strategic value to their clients’ businesses.

The good news is that a new wave of technologies is automating many of the routine processes that once took up so much of your time. Big data, cloud computing, IoT, artificial intelligence are reinventing accounting across West Africa.

Here are some game-changing technologies that will empower you to take a new role in your clients’ businesses:

1. Artificial Intelligence (AI)

AI is not only increasing the pace of automation, it’s also helping businesses find patterns in complex data, enabling faster information discovery and empowering accountants to generate smart forecasts. In our survey, 66% of respondents said they would invest in AI to automate repetitive and time-consuming tasks.

Chatbots, like Sage’s Pegg, are becoming popular in accounting as consumers get more comfortable asking computers questions. By simply asking Pegg who still owes them money, for example, businesses can get an instant overview about where they stand with debtors.

Tip: AI technologies are redefining the role of accountants. Don’t be afraid of them. Learn how to use the tools and data to help your clients meet their financial goals. As cool as chatbots are, many people still want to engage with a human.

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2. Big data and IoT (The Internet of Things)

Big data and data analytics have allowed us to interact with data in new ways, while the IoT allows us to instantly and automatically capture information, like business kilometres and expense receipts. This information can be presented visually, to provide new insights into the business and to help you make better decisions.

Tip: Help your clients understand their data. Combine their data with financial trends and industry information to produce insightful forecasts that will help them run smarter businesses.

3. Automation

Manual data entry is becoming a thing of the past. Businesses can instantly capture and categorise receipts, expenses and invoices, giving them a real-time overview of their cash flow and improving compliance.

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Tip: Automate as much of your client processes as you can so that you can add value in other areas, like advising on regulations and identifying areas for growth.

4. Head for the clouds

Today, businesses can instantly and cost-effectively access world-class accounting solutions that let them manage their finances from anywhere, on any device.

Tip: Upgrade your accounting practice to cloud-based solutions. You’ll always have access to the most up-to-date, compliant version and you’ll be rewarded with more time, fewer errors and happier clients. You can collaborate with your clients on the same software, in real-time, without needing to be in the same place

For more Technology Solutions from Sage, Click Here

The Role of the Business Advisor

Sage research found that 42% of clients expected their accountant to provide business advice. Accountants that embrace this new role will be in high demand. It starts with understanding opportunities presented by the latest business solutions and upskilling yourself to add value to your clients.

Written By Pieter Bensch, Executive Vice President for Sage, Africa & Middle East

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Paschal Okafor
Paschal Okafor
Paschal Okafor is the founder of NaijaTechGuide. A Graduate of Electrical and Electronics Engineering, Paschal is passionate about Technology and since 2006 has written over 4000 articles covering Mobile Devices, Consumer Electronics, Digital Marketing, Mobile Apps, and Online Services. Over the past 16 years, he has managed to turn a blog that started life on a Google Blogger subdomain into the Largest Technology Blog in Nigeria and quite possibly the largest in Africa. Paschal has been Building, Analyzing, and Maintaining Websites for over 17 years and also shares his wealth of knowledge and experience about building and managing websites on NaijaTechGuide.

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