representation of augmented accounting

Augmented Reality in Accounting Firms Is a Genuine Reality You Should Explore

Business, Technology

Accountants wore visors for generations, why not goggles?

What’s the first thing you think of when you hear “augmented reality” or “virtual reality” mentioned? Accounting firms. Right? If you don’t, it’s time to think again. Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) are rapidly growing segments in industries across the board and accounting is no different.

We’re not talking about strapping on a pair of augmented reality accounting goggles and balancing books.  

AR in accounting and VR in accounting take your firm’s entire universe of data and put it into a system that makes it all simple to access and incredibly easy to work with as you need to move data around in the course of accomplishing various tasks. 

Many AR/VR capabilities are often embedded functionalities inside leading accounting practice management software. They simplify and sharpen your firm’s ability to focus resources where they’re most needed, with practice management applications that bring new levels of efficiency, coordination, and collaboration to firms of all sizes — whether you’re an in-house operation or distributed team working remotely.

Here are just some of the possibilities of augmented reality accounting:

Onboarding with augmented reality in accounting

We’ve all sat through monotonous online orientation videos and multiple-choice situation assessments as part of getting ready to take on a new position. Virtual reality in accounting can create an atmosphere in which new employees learn what they need to know in a way they’ll enjoy–an automated onboarding process that incorporates engaging content such as video that actually helps people retain information rather than simply “check the box” and walk away. In the future, the technology could develop to a point where 3D projections make onboarding even more engaging. Imagine putting on some goggles and being shown around the company virtually while strolling with the CEO. AR/VR could make that happen.

Organizing and prioritizing with AR accounting

On the most basic level, augmented reality in accounting gives you a 30,000-foot, 360-degree view of your firm’s clients and current deliverables. Using an easy-to-read dashboard that lets you drill down below the surface for any level of detail you need. This kind of access to information lets you know what needs to be worked on right now, getting each task—large or small in terms of revenue—into a project management flow that will see that task through to timely completion. You can also measure results to an unprecedented degree to figure out how long certain processes are taking, how teams and individuals are performing, how quickly client requests are being fulfilled and more, gathering all the metrics you need to enhance your practice development strategy.

Online and in-person presentations

Instead of clicking through slide after slide of a tedious PowerPoint deck or Excel spreadsheet, augmented reality allows you to make accounting facts and figures appear right on your conference room screen for all to see, in a way that flows in complete sync with your presentation. Whether you’re presenting online or in-person, the ability to interact with data and your audience is amplified to a whole new level. 

Document management

Even with software, keeping track of and accessing documents can be a hassle. Not so with augmented reality accounting. No more shuffling through a desk or computer desktop filled with data sources trying to find the one you had just a minute ago. Augmented reality can visually guide you quickly from Point A to Point B amid a series of documents seamlessly. 

Gathering data on demand

A fully integrated AR accounting system can be set up to quickly retrieve entire sets and subsets of relevant data based on whatever sort of visual environment you have created. Walking through an audit site? The system can be programmed to gather data based on your exact location coordinates on demand. Looking at an interactive map or org chart? The data can sync with those, as well. The possibilities are endless.

Enhancing collaboration with 3D imaging

We’ve all gotten used to remote collaboration to one degree or another in recent years. Augmented reality in accounting can bring a whole new level of clarity, precision, and camaraderie to the remote experience by gathering people in multiple locations around the same 3D images, as if they were sharing them at a table. Getting the right people, all looking at precise and up-to-date material in real time is a practice management enhancement that will go a long way toward streamlining decisions and ensuring accuracy.

As mentioned above, the possibilities for augmented reality in accounting are endless. It’s hard to do them justice in just a brief blog post. The best thing to do is consult your IT department or provider and ask just what type of technology would be best for your specific needs. Once you agree on a specific set of capabilities, your IT people can get to work on researching the perfect platform for your practice or firm.

You don’t have to figure out how to leverage accounting firm technology on your own. Download our free whitepaper, Questions You Should Ask Your IT Provider to arm yourself with the knowledge you need to make the best technology decisions.