Gone are the days where businesses just assumed they would have to hire a full-time accountant. This era of technology has brought us apps and programs that help automate accounting processes, and the forensic accounting industry has had to adjust. Here are some of the ways we’ve had to adapt to these new technologies as we move into this future of globalisation and advanced digital technologies.
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Mobile apps such as Xero, Sage Intacct, Netsuite, and others have given business owners the opportunity to opt for accounting services in the palm of their hands. These are useful due to their ability to automate otherwise tedious tasks– creating invoices, keeping balance sheets mistake-free, and other day-to-day tasks. Hiring a professional may be wise around tax season or end-of-year, but otherwise this might be a great option for business. This also makes it harder to cook the books, lie on spreadsheets, and guard against other types of fraud employees might commit. Having all the data in a program also helps with keeping it in one place. This is valuable should you ever have to hire a forensic accountant… this could save a lot of time. Apps are in essence the newest software replacement, because more and more data is being stored in the Cloud as opposed to file cabinets and hard drives.
While a bit older, software solves some of the same issues apps do, although these can be more complex in nature and have any number of advanced features apps may lack. Many small businesses use Freshbooks, Quickbooks, Xero, or other software packages that provide them the tools they need to operate efficiently. These can be great options for your business. Just like with apps, they can consistently ensure your expenses are accounted for and should you ever need a forensic accountant these are helpful when coming up with the who, what, where, when, why, and how of all your finances. Quantifying this data is a huge job, and these systems make it a little easier to see what went wrong where. With forensic accounts becoming ever more in demand to do rising regulations and compliance programs businesses have to have, these tools are handy and practical to organize financial information.
The world is becoming more and more digital, and the world of accounting is following suit. With the development of software and now apps, we see more and more businesses relying on these tools to manage their expenditures and other financial data. While you may need a human accountant for certain things such as taxes, you may at some point need a forensic accountant if things aren’t adding up, you suspect fraud, or if you are experiencing lawsuits or other legal actions against your company. Using these tools makes it a little easier for forensic CPAs to gather and analyze the data they need to figure out what happened.
While these tools are helpful in the day-to-day operations of businesses, they are limited in their capacity to help a business owner should things go south. Calculating commercial damages, quantifying future risks, projecting profits and deciding which directions and options a business has to go are all places where a forensic CPA can help.
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