2024 promises to be a year of major change for financial professionals

Emerging trends in fintech are a perennial topic of conversation, and in some cases, cause for concern for the financial industry. Let’s explore five of these trends and how they apply to the financial professional.

1. Automated accounting processes

We expect to see an increased use of automation in accounting tasks, from accounts payable through tax preparation to account reconciliation and auditing.

Automation helps reduce human errors, improve accuracy and efficiency, save costs and improve overall customer satisfaction.

  • Reducing Manual Processes in Automation

This is critical for streamlining processes and mitigating fraud risks. Manual intervention in payment processes, often vulnerable to fraud, is decreasing through services like Aico's Intercompany Invoicing solution. 

  • End-to-End Automation

Comprehensive automation solutions help minimise human errors, reduce fraud across the entire process, and enable financial professionals to spend more time on analysis and forecasting activities. It also supports the integration of ERPs into financial close software, allowing real-time accounting to become a reality for more companies.

  • Generative AI

According to Deloitte, “Finance and accounting analysts can use Generative AI tools like virtual assistants and intelligent bots to deliver vital operational tasks faster and more efficiently and respond to ad hoc reporting requests.”

2. Cloud technology

Cloud-based accounting allows companies to access and manage their financial data online, from anywhere and at any time. This is invaluable for large enterprises that often have a global presence.

Cloud-based accounting offers many benefits, such as data security, scalability, multi-user access, real-time collaboration, and easy integration with other software and platforms.

According to a report by Sage, 67% of accountants agreed that cloud-based solutions have made their work more successful. The same report states that 67% of accountants say cloud technology is improving their client interactions and service offerings.

3. Customer experience automation (CXA)

Customer Experience Automation (CXA) enables businesses to enhance the client experience through the use of automation tools, such as AI chatbots, customer feedback requests or automatic email campaigns.

In addition, CXA helps companies to:

  • Provide always-on customer support, which is especially important for global companies

  • Personalised, faster communication that enhances customer loyalty and satisfaction

  • Streamlining processes for cost and time savings

New technology can analyse almost every detail of a customer’s interactions over the entire customer lifecycle. MIT surveyed and interviewed 800 executives, and the resulting report found that 87% of the respondents identified CX as a “strategic differentiator of their brand.”

4. Augmented and virtual reality

Augmented reality (AR) uses a real-world setting (think Pokémon Go) while Virtual Reality (VR) is completely virtual. VR is already in use in training and simulation programs for fields such as medicine.

According to an article in Forbes, “creating an augmented or virtual reality environment extends the banking experience.”

Back in 2021, the Bank of America announced the launch of a VR training program at over 4,000 financial centres. “This innovative training technology will allow approximately 50,000 employees to practice a range of routine to complex tasks and simulate client interactions through a virtual environment,” the bank explained.

Augmented reality can, for example, show you a 3D map of a specific location and highlight where you used your credit card.

5. Sustainable finance

According to a Harvard Extension School article, sustainable finance can be defined as “investment decisions that take into account the environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors of an economic activity or project.”

A PwC article states that “The finance sector’s role in any economy puts it in the driver’s seat to lead the transition to a low-carbon and more sustainable world.” There is increased pressure on financial institutions to consider environmental, social and governance categories, such as renewable resources, promoting inclusiveness and employee relations when making strategic decisions.

Working in a changing financial landscape

From efficiency and time saving to customer satisfaction and global ESG concerns, technology is changing the way financiers work. By eliminating the mundane tasks and giving accountants the freedom to delve into more challenging work, AI and automation will be powerful allies. AR, VR and cloud technologies will give customers and the financial institutions that serve them greater ways of reaching out to each other. The increasing concerns around ESG may fall under the remit of fintech.

Find out more about how Aico’s complete suite of financial close solutions is helping financial professionals shorten and de-stress the month-end.

Book a demo

Take 5 minutes to learn more about the most advanced financial close platform.