Our world is transforming into one where every function of society relies on computers; specifically their software. Computer programming is becoming required in high schools across the United States, and college students are applying their programming skills to their respective fields from engineering, to nursing. As computers become more advanced, and artificial intelligence begins to develop more complex systems, more and more industries will need to rely on a background of computer science.
One of these fields is accounting. Several accounting processes that were once written out in ledger books, that were then transferred over into spreadsheets, are now becoming automated through accounting software and information systems. These have become solutions to barriers in accountancy, and have boosted the efficiency of the accounting cycle.
The core of these information systems involves the basic structure of computer programming, and how to write out an accounting process. There are fundamental steps that any computer software engineer would have to take to lay out the problems within the process. They do this through logical thinking.
At my university, we’ve had the opportunity to learn about logical thinking and how it applies to the accounting process. My work here at Indium Corporation has allowed me to put that knowledge to the test, and develop solutions that most accountants may not have thought of. This includes removing bottlenecks, transforming manual steps into automation, and using both big data and thick data to evaluate our effectiveness.
Instead of getting caught up on the finer details of computer programs, we can look at these problems as if we were making only the general structure.
We would start by laying out every step it takes to complete a process. This can help to remind us of some of the steps that we may not initially consider when thinking of the process itself. By looking at the process, we can then find sections that, despite being manual, are repetitive or take up a large amount of time.
We focus on these sections, and determine whether automation or an efficiency evaluation can speed it up.
In computer programming, basic functions are used to determine values. Some of them include an “if” statement (picking a value, including conditions that it needs to satisfy, and printing results if true or false), an “and” statement (to satisfy whether multiple requirements are true), and a “for” statement (increase every value in increments, under aforementioned conditions).
The best way for any accountant to learn more about applying logical thinking is to start on Excel. It doesn’t require fluency in Java, C, or any other programming language. Excel has logic formulas available that you can start using to help you evaluate data, and improve your problem-solving skills.Don’t be afraid of the rapid changes ongoing with automated industries and artificial intelligence, because computer science is making our lives easier. Learning how to apply this with accountancy can help to think outside of the box when faced with the accounting cycle, and stay one step ahead of the competition.