Why Accounting, Finance, and Tax Are Now the Tongue of Business 

If you skim over the last few years, you can apparently see the rapid rate of change that enterprises of all sizes and industries have experienced. From pandemic-driven shifts to commerce to technology-driven shifts in consumer behavior—firms have had to acclimate repeatedly. 

One of the consequences of this shift has been an inflated focus on driving ROI through data and insights. As such, firms have started to lean more on online accounting courses, finance, and tax teams to provide insights that inform and drive the enterprise forward. The growing strain on these teams to provide actionable insights to the industry has prompted digital transformation measures across the three disciplines. 

As digital mutation within finance grows, Deloitte predicts that by 2025, “finance will plait down on business insights and service” as more automation is involved. As the functions accounting, finance, and tax play within businesses continue to develop, it’s never been clearer that they are truly the tongue of business and vital to the success of organizations. 

The demand for ROI means always-on finance operations. 

Commerce is ensuing at all hours of the day. To keep pace, enterprises are processing trades 24/7 and in need of data to constantly refine their operations. As a result, computation and finance must be always on and able to suit the needs of the business. During a seminar on digital transformation at Avalara CRUSH Global last month, Paul Farrell, vice president of enterprise product management at Oracle NetSuite, said it agreeably: “Gone are the days that [finance] can do something at the end of the month, the end of the day, or in batch. It ought to be real-time, and it must be always available.” 

It’s not just that accounting, finance, and tax must consistently be on to deliver data to the business. The kind of data being provided has also matured. Historically, accounting teams delivered retrospective data to teams to support report growth and learnings. Today, accounting and finance teams are asked to supply historical information, as well as predictive data to better inform decision-making. 

Technology adoption can’t just be for technology’s sake. 

Invention across finance technology today is incredible. Still, despite the prospects and innovations that exist today, the sort of technology that accounting, finance, and tax teams adopt is an essential decision that can’t be taken lightly. 

Business technology has a reputation for being monolithic and for delays to deliver the sworn value. At the same time, civilization has become habituated to the ease of use associated with consumer-oriented technologies powering our individual lives. 

As accounting, finance, and tax resume through their digital modification journeys, the technologies that provide real-time value and easy user incidents will be the keys that take businesses to the next level. 

Shifting government regulations put more emphasis on finance. 

Just as firms are trying to keep up with the instantaneous change surrounding them, so is the government. The advancement of e-commerce and cross-border commerce has spurred many tax authorities to implement new compliance conditions for businesses of all dimensions. 

In the US, isolated sales tax laws are the norm in the majority of states. Across Europe, Latin America, and other parts of the world, e-invoicing and digital tax reporting necessities are quickly becoming the norm. 

As tax laws persist to evolve and businesses move further toward an omnichannel model, finance technology is a vital success element. Not only does this technology manage the load created by developing legislation, but it also creates a conduit for visibility across deals channels and systems fueling the business. 

Corporation decision-making has never been more data-driven. Accounting, finance, and tax teams that carry the key to the data firms need to not only work in our digital economy but flourish in it. Digital modification across these disciplines will involve technology in the discovery, management, and allocation of the data that is the lifeblood of a modern enterprise. 

Accountants Will Save the World!

Why accounting? During my time as CEO of TNT N.V., we constructed a collaboration with the UN World Food Program (WFP) — at that time the world’s first between a for-profit and the UN agency. A transportation company like TNT is a standard beneficiary of globalization. At the same time, we live in a world where every six seconds a child passes from hunger despite there existing enough food in the world to stop it. So TNT brought its logistics aptitudes and committed its people’s time to support the WFP reach the victims of droughts, famine, and natural disasters. Our proficient support made the WFP operation better. But we got returns on our investment as well. Our employees were scornful of the company and enthusiastic to participate; the disaster areas delivered some of the best training on how to solve complex dilemmas; and of course, the prestige of the company improved tremendously. There is no doubt we profited from this. 

It’s accurate that since the advent of the Global Reporting Initiative in 2000 companies have started to include proof of sustainability in their annual reports. But numerous corporate reports define sustainability as a “journey” with no explicit destination. Also, the non-financial parts of documenting today are not rule-based, making it unattainable to compare enactment across industries — and multiple times even within them. 

The World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), where I am president, is taking measures to address this. We are a membership association consisting of over 200 institutions worldwide — including all of the Big Four accountants. We’ve created a program on reporting and investment that will unite with The Prince’s Accounting for Sustainability Project (as in Prince Charles) and the International Integrated Reporting Council to make bearable performance concrete, measurable, relative, and connected to scientific priorities. We will concentrate on both internal sustainability reporting for improved gamble and version management, as well as on exterior disclosure as a driver for the more precise valuation of companies and improved distribution of capital market investments. We will also assemble a forum for CEOs and accountants to examine and develop large-scale explanations for finance and reporting and are exploring the potential of developing a world-class training program for CFOs on sustainability.

Back to Top