Accounting & Finance Roundup – April 2018

Welcome to the ApprovalMax roundup, covering news and opinion published in April 2018.

This month, we feature superb articles about the finance firms and cryptocurrency, fraud for small businesses, digital transformation and automation in finance, and more.

A caveat: These are the opinions of the writers themselves. We don’t always agree with every argument presented in these articles, but we do think you’ll find the stories interesting!

1. One in 5 finance firms is considering trading cryptocurrencies

By Oscar Williams-Grut for Business Insider

In this article by Oscar Williams-Grut for Business Insider, he discusses the results of an industry survey conducted by Thomson Reuters. In this survey, it was revealed that one in five of 400 finance firms surveyed are interested in cryptocurrency trading. In fact, they will likely hire a cryptocurrency trading professional within the next 6 months.

The interest in cryptocurrency surged in the second half of 2017, which was fueled by the surge in Bitcoin prices. To support that, the CME and CBOE launched bitcoin futures in December. But despite all of these developments, bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies remain thinly-traded.

According to Neill Penney from Thomson Reuters, cryptocurrency remains a “relatively small part of the trading market”. However, the survey conducted reveals that this niche segment is finally drawing more attention and interest — especially among the finance firms in the industry.

Read the full article here

2. Report finds big fraud problems for small businesses

By Jeff Drew for Journal of Accountancy

Jeff Drew writes this article for the Journal of Accountancy wherein he tackles how businesses worldwide are losing staggering amounts of money due to occupational fraud. The impact is especially big on the smaller businesses.

This trend was reported in the 2018 Report on the Nations of Occupational Fraud and Abuse that was conducted by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners. This report summarises thousands of fraud cases that are reported worldwide, which provides insight into how fraud activities are perpetrated, detected, and prevented. This is true not just in the finance industry, but across all industries and regions.

The report highlights the impact on smaller businesses that may lack the resources required to withstand the threat of occupational fraud. This type of fraud is committed or perpetrated within the organisation itself. In addition, these limited resources can also prevent small businesses from executing the recommended anti-fraud controls that many large organisations employ.

Read the full article here

3. 4 Tips to Handling Bookkeeping Client Issues

By Jody Linick for AccountingWeb

As you know, bookkeepers are hired by organisations to help manage their financial records and documents. However, it is not uncommon for the bookkeeper to encounter disagreement with their client(s) at some stage. This is an issue which isn’t discussed enough, according to Jody Linick — who confronts it head-on in her article for AccountingWeb.

In this piece, she provides four tips and recommendations on how bookkeeping professionals should deal with clients in this scenario. Her recommendations are aimed at providing a solution to the issue wherein all parties involved will have something to gain. This is about creating a win-win scenario from a challenging situation.

Read the full article here

4. Technology Is Delivering Better Access To Financial Services.

By Philippe Le Houerou and Dan Schulman of World Economic Forum for Forbes

In this article by contributors from World Economic Forum, written for Forbes, they discuss how digital technology has helped the finance industry to become more inclusive. Hence, millions of people and businesses worldwide are able to partake in a global economy. The Global Findex database has revealed that over 140 countries use digitised methods of handling finances, such as banking and making payments.

With digital technology making payments and financial services more accessible, it has helped to foster global development too. In short, the article aims to conclude that digital technology has given financial access and development a boost. This impact is not limited within the finance industry but also in health, business, other areas.

Read the full article here

5. Automation in finance: Get your team ready

By Drew Adamek for the Journal of Accountancy

Drew Adamek looks into how digital finance technologies like blockchain and AI are transforming the way businesses perform accounting functions. In fact, he predicts that this trend will continue in the next few years. Today, many businesses and banks have already automated their accounting and finance tasks. But he believes it is only a matter of time until automation becomes the new standard and not just an option.

In order for emerging technologies to benefit and be fully-implemented by finance firms, there has to be a cultural shift within the employees and among accounting professionals. They have to develop a new viewpoint in their work, particularly in how technologies impact their profession. Adamek concludes by saying that while technology gets all the bells and whistles, the human capital is still the most important factor for automation to succeed.

Read the full article here

6. 3 Reasons Why Payables Transformation is Coming to Mid-Market Businesses

By Spend Matters

In this article for Spend Matters, the impact of payables transformation in businesses, particularly mid-sized businesses, are discussed in detail. Although large and mid-sized businesses have many differences, they both involve a complex supplier ecosystem. In addition, they both deal with tax, fraud, audit, and other types of risks. The only thing that separates these two entities is their ability to address these challenges that businesses face.

This article by Spend Matters provides three tips on how to survive the challenges of payables transformation. Finance professionals that are working for mid-sized businesses understand the value of payables transformation to ease up on the manual effort and daily grind of invoice-to-pay workflow. With an understanding of this benefit, this article predicts that payables transformation will take an even firmer hold in this segment of the market.

Read the full article here

7. Finance and Accounting Transformation in the Age of Digital and Hybrid Labour

By Shantanu Ghosh for Computer Business Review

Genpact’s Shantanu Ghosh discusses the fascinating topic linking digital transformation and accounting jobs. For years, the focus on digital transformation and artificial intelligence has incited fear among finance professionals. In particular, there is a pervading fear that new technologies could directly replace jobs.

Ghosh clarifies that process automation should not be viewed as a threat. Instead, it aims to remove the robotic processes from human jobs, so that accounting professionals can focus on activities that generate return on investment (ROI). He also believes that process robotics represent just one aspect of the puzzle. Digital transformation is a journey that businesses need to learn to adapt to, and it will not happen overnight.

Read the full article here

Have we missed any great articles? Please do let us know, and if you’d like to submit your article for consideration, get in touch with