Accounting & Finance Roundup – January 2018

January 2018: News you won’t want to miss!

The world of accounting is constantly evolving. With the rapid development of new technology, digital transformation is impacting accountancy, bookkeeping, and corporate finance. It’s our duty to be informed about the latest developments in the industry, and there’s never been a more exciting time to do so.

And this is why we at ApprovalMax made it easier for you to stay in-the-know on a monthly basis. We’ve gathered some of the latest news, opinions, and happenings in the world of accounting and finance for your benefit. Below are some of the hottest stories you might have missed in January 2018, from the future of accounting to insights on how finance is using artificial intelligence. Enjoy!

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

1. Why the future of accounting looks bright

By Deanna Arteaga for AccountingWeb

This post on the AccountingWeb details a survey conducted by Brilliant, a Chicago-based research firm. In this survey, they devised a hiring forecast for the first quarter of 2018 which indicates a rise in demand for accounting, finance, and IT job positions. Brilliant also partnered with Dr. Richard Curtin of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor to conduct this survey. It concluded that the results of the study reflects a growing demand for accounting and finance jobs in the next 12 months.

The growth rate in accounting and finance jobs is comparably higher than last year’s data. For example, there is a 40% increase on unfilled jobs in the accounting and finance positions. Meanwhile, IT job openings also grew by 28%. According to the report, the highest level of demand can be seen in the fields of corporate accounting, tax and general accounting, internal auditing, and financial analysis.

Brilliant President, Jeff Mariola, claims that as businesses grow, they are also looking to expand by hiring talented accounting professionals.

Read the full article here

2. Older banking users turn away from fintech due to lack of trust

By James Walker for Digital Journal

In this article by James Walker for Digital Journal, he discusses a survey conducted by financial comparison website The survey was conducted on 1,000 Canadians for the 2017 Digital Money Trends Report. The conclusion of the survey reveals a major divide between older banking customers and the millennial banking users.

According to the survey, millennial customers “prefer” mobile and contactless payments when transacting online (such as the purchase of goods). On the other hand, baby boomers and Gen-Xers are more wary about the issue of privacy, security, and trust. Among those surveyed, only 61% think that their financial data is “somewhat secure”.

Meanwhile, 22% think that their data is “inadequately secure” or “not at all secure”. James Walker reveals a pressing challenge for fintech providers: to educate their customers about the use of their products and/or services to build trust and ensure privacy.

Read the full article here

3. The surprising ways finance is already using AI

By Jon Ogden for Forbes (and MX)

Jon Ogden takes an in-depth look into how fintech companies are integrating artificial intelligence (AI) into their business processes. He cites a few examples to illustrate the many ways that AI can maximise workflow and provide savings. USAA is one of the cited fintech companies. Ogden discusses their use of a chatbot service powered by an algorithm, capable of handling cleansed and categorised data.

Another fintech company used as an example is Homie. According to Ogden, they rely on APIs and algorithms to replace the role of realtors in providing advice on home buyers and legal assistance. This move not only streamlines the mortgage process, but also offers huge savings.

The article wraps up by citing how artificial intelligence is already implemented and thriving within the finance industry. Given how it is becoming the new standard in fintech, he concludes by saying that it should be the focal point for fintech companies moving forward.

Read the full article here

4. Digital transformation should be key focus in Budget 2018: KPMG

By Chia Yan Min for The Business Times (Singapore)

News from accounting and digital transformation in Singapore, now. Chia Yan Min writes this article for The Business Times to discuss KPMG and their mission to get more digital support for similar firms. They cite flexible manpower policies and tax deductions as incentive for digital skills training. Chia Yan Min’s piece features some of KPMG’s recommendations to address the shortage of tech talent in Singapore.

The firm’s representatives believe that this will encourage businesses to pursue digital transformation. In addition, regional KPMG head Chiu Wu Hong also believes that it will give local firms the opportunity to hire foreigners with more advanced skills on tech-related roles. One of the said tech-related segments concern the issue of cybersecurity, should companies opt to digitise. Aside from hiring foreigners with existing tech skills, they also recognise the importance of training local employees with these skills.

Read the full article here

5. How accountants can develop a global mindset

By Gary Eastwood for AccountingWeb

Gary Eastwood, a CPA from Seattle, writes this piece for AccountingWeb on how accounting professionals can develop a global mindset. According to him, it is important for accountants and everyone who is part of the accounting industry to adopt a global mindset in this digital era.

The first step towards globalisation in the accounting industry is to understand and embrace modern technology. The use of cutting-edge tech makes the world borderless and this is something accountants should leverage, especially those looking to bring in more international clients.

According to Eastwood, unless accountancies become familiar with the latest technological advancements, they won’t be able to achieve professional goals. The next step is to make sure that every member of an accounting firm gets comprehensive update training. This will ensure that the team can work efficiently and deliver the highest quality service to global (and local) clients.

Read the full article here

Thank you for reading the monthly update for January 2018. We hope that you’ve had a fantastic start to the new year. If you work in accounting and finance and wish to experience how ApprovalMax enhances your approval workflows, register for a free trial. We’re here to help if you need anything!


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