LISTEN | Money Matters Made Simple: Will digitisation leave accountants out of work?

This week’s programme focuses on simplifying the finances of businesses and employees, and the most important steps in digitalising and automating accounting. Head of Everyday Corporate Banking at Coop Pank Erje Mettas, CEO Liis Laanesaar and Project Manager Mari-Liis Kikas of accounting and financial consultancy company are here in the studio. The programme is hosted by Simo Sepp.

Although people fear that digitisation and automation will leave people out of work, they actually make their work more meaningful and generate more value. All the time-consuming manual work is eliminated and the accountant only has to deal with interpreting the information that is of real value. In addition, automation minimises the risk of errors, which is always present in manual work.

Other company employees also benefit from more modern accounting, as they also spend less time and energy on filing expense receipts, filling in driving logs, etc. There’s also no need to worry about excessive work or the expenses of introducing digital solutions, as all the work doesn’t have to be done at once. For example, you can start by digitising your invoices and then, step by step, bring in the rest of the data.

While digitisation requires a more in-depth knowledge of modern technology than before, it doesn’t mean that accountants have to learn software development and acquire a new education, but simply upgrade their knowledge of data flows. Learning and development are a natural part of life, and with new skills comes an increase in the value of an accountant’s job, which in turn means higher pay. The same work can be done twice as fast in a digitised environment, which also benefits businesses and can then do their accounting more cost-effectively.

Raising awareness of businesses about digital and automated accounting and the benefits it brings to both the company and its employees is an important priority today.

Digitisation eliminates excessive tasks not only for accountants, but also for managers. This makes both managers and employees happier, more efficient and faster in their work.

Even though Estonia is an e-state and technology is developing rapidly here, we’re lagging behind many other countries in the world of digitisation and automation. For example, the use of e-invoices in Finland is 70%, but in Estonia, it’s only 6-7%. Digitisation starts at the level of state and large companies have an important role to play in adopting these methods. Banks also play a big role in digitisation – the banking sector is currently one of the big leaders in accounting software.

An important step here is the exchange of data between programmes, which at Coop Bank is handled through Gateway. This way, a company can connect its bank accounts and accounting software and forget about importing data manually.

In order to carry out automation, the first thing to consider is whether there are people within the company with the right skills to do it successfully. If not, it’s worth outsourcing the digitisation service. Another advantage of external expertise is that it gives a fresh perspective on the company’s areas of concern and new opportunities.

Listen to the Money Matters Put Simply podcast to hear more about the current state, the near future and the important steps in digitisation and automation.