The accounting profession has evolved a lot. And by extension, the job description of the accountant.
No longer is the accountant seen as someone sitting at a desk with a calculator and stacks of paper. While the principles of accounting remain the same, the technology we use has changed greatly.
The result is the advent of new roles and divisions within accounting departments.
One of them? The Systems Accountant!
So what does a Systems Accountant do? And why are they so important?
Let’s get to it!
What is a Systems Accountant?
A Systems Accountant is a finance professional who designs, analyses and reviews the financial systems, practices, processes, and related policies of an organisation.
They check and assess financial data and reports to verify accuracy and improve accounting systems.
A systems accountant’s success is largely determined by his or her understanding and application of information technology, accounting, and financial management concepts.
Why? Because they are constantly tasked with overseeing and maintaining the technology that supports financial operations and accounting functions of the business.
Any changes or updates to the accounting software, as well as making sure all hardware and network infrastructure are up to date will fall onto their shoulders. They advise on best practices for data warehousing, database management and design.
After evaluating a system, they prepare reports based on their findings and distribute the same to appropriate personnel.
Why are Systems Accountants Important?
Systems accounting is an incredibly complex job with many moving parts that has never been more important than it is today as we enter the era of digital transformation. And yet only recently have organisations begun trying to hire professionals that meet these criteria.
Since Systems Accountants are responsible for all the accounting systems needs of a company, they play an immeasurably important role in the finance department.
Without Systems Accountants, companies would not be able to keep up this rapid pace of growth and with accounting systems at the forefront of most companies’ digital transformation plans, it’s no wonder they are in such high demand.
A systems accountant has two major roles in an organisation:
The first one is reviewing and evaluating all the financial systems, practices, processes, and policies of the company.
After this, their second major responsibility comes into play, which is to eliminate poor-performing systems and practices and devise improved replacement systems.
This in turn helps businesses to draw up action plans for streamlining their accounting operations and improving their overall bottom line.
Roles of a Systems Accountant
There are many different roles of Systems Accountant, these include:
- Reviewing policies
- Analysing business costs and operations
- Researching market trends
- Identifying risks
- Making systems more efficient
- Deciding which systems to replace
- New system selection and implementation
- Data analysis for business improvement
- Creating training materials for new employees
- Streamlining payroll using financial technology
- Evaluating new accounting technology
The Future of Systems Accounting
With companies around the world continuing to expand and grow, and digital transformation efforts at an all-time high, the demand for systems accountants will only continue to rise.
However, while this is certainly great news for professionals in the industry, it does mean that finding and hiring the right person for the job can become incredibly difficult.
Most importantly, we are beginning to see a trend toward the automation of repetitive systems accounting tasks using technologies such as artificial intelligence, cloud-based accounting software, data analytics and forecasting tools.
While there seems to be a lack of understanding of the technologies and a lack of resources to implement them, those organisations that take the leap are reaping massive benefits.
In short, some 70% of companies that have automated more than one-fourth of their accounting functions report moderate or substantial ROI.
For instance, there’s consensus that AI can and will have a significant impact on finance and accounting, eliminating a larger part of time-consuming tasks. This will free up Systems Accountants’ time, allowing them to focus on value-add activities that can guide the company to a more prosperous position.
Systems accounting is a rapidly growing field, and there is no doubt that Systems Accountants play a crucial role in any organisation as they make sure the financial management systems of a business run as efficiently and smoothly as possible.
They play a pivotal role in the digital transformation of organisations, ensuring that everything from payroll to invoicing is streamlined and up to date.
If you have yet to hire a Systems Accountant, it might be high time you did so as they can bring a lot of value to the organisation. Importantly, you should also invest in a reliable financial management system such as SunSystems to enable your Systems Accountant to work at their maximum potential.