Rose Report: Issue 40

From Abacus to AI: The Advancement of Accounting

Rose Report-evolution of accountingResearch the history of accounting and you’ll find timelines dating back thousands of years. Ancient Mesopotamian civilizations used rudimentary accounting methods to keep records regarding animals and crops. Tokens, clay balls, clay tablets, the abacus and papyrus were the tools of the trade in early accounting.

Fast forward thousands of years. Gutenberg developed the printing press in the early 1400s, paving the way for the father of accounting, Luca Pacioli, to publish at the end of the 15th century his definitive and groundbreaking textbook that explained double-entry accounting.

Of course, our history at Rose Financial Solutions (RFS) starts slightly later than that, 25 years ago! But we are certainly indebted to those earlier innovators for laying the groundwork.

The evolution of technology certainly has changed the accounting profession over the centuries. But even if we look at just recent history, we can see how the rapid pace of technological advancements is changing our landscape.

Many finance and accounting professionals used to rely on calculators. While calculators are fine for basic math, they don’t provide a big picture view of a company’s finances. They don’t provide financial clarity.

Piecemeal accounting software tools don’t work well either. And while cloud computing is transforming the accounting industry by allowing accounting firms to collaborate with clients through access to the same financial systems, technology that streamlines data processes is where the transformation really is taking place.

That’s why at RFS we pride ourselves on being at the forefront of accounting technology. Our Finance as a Service (FaaS) combines our state-of-the-art technology, RFSWorkflow, with access to an entire finance and accounting department. RFSWorkflow provides a complete picture of a company’s performance, including the ability to drill into the details while our accounting professionals delivers top notch support, including financial management and strategic guidance.

With the technological advancements used by RFSWorkflow, we are reducing human error, simplifying accounting processes, and eliminating paper and email trails.

Now, at our 25th year and at the cusp of the next decade, we are exploring machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI).

With machine learning—which is a current application of AI—technology doesn’t simply collect information; it learns from the data collected. For companies to use AI and machine learning, they will need an effective finance and accounting system with an ability to structure and index data that can be converted into meaningful information. With automated processes in place, AI and machine learning will be able to code, route and analyze information, highlight trends, and help companies make sound business decisions.

Yet whether we are using tokens, clay tables, the abacus or artificial intelligence, human intelligence is still at the foundation of what we do. Our people advise and strategize, and there’s no technology that can replace those essential functions.

What will the accounting technology landscape look like five years from now? 15 years? 25 years? The future is to be written, but rest assured, Rose Financial Solutions will lead the way.