The role of IT across financial services

Financial services - Finance

Technological advances over the last few decades have forever changed the way we live and do business. Emerging technology in financial services has changed how customers can interact with their financial institutions; in fact, 62% of people consider easier and faster banking one of the best technological developments of the past decade. To keep up, those organisations have had to drastically change the way they run their businesses

Companies are implementing IT in different ways; these days, many want to deliver customer service online using self-serve portals and chatbots for instant support. Accountants and mortgage brokers are able to make immediate and accurate reviews of their customer’s financial information in real time, and send that information directly to their client with the hit of a button.

Implementing IT into your financial services is a must – though it does contain cybersecurity risks that you need to be prepared for.

Accounting has never been easier

Not so long ago, when it came to tax time for both accountant and client, checking and double-checking months of documents, receipts, files, and more was a tedious and time-consuming task. Now, with the advancements in technology, financial planning processes have been streamlined and are easier to share, find, and access for all parties.

Instant access to information

Cloud computing has been one of the biggest changes to digital working across all industries. Accountants with access to cloud computing can immediately review their customer’s accounting information. This makes it possible for business owners or managers to check the financial information and make changes to their daily operations instantly.

Streamlining business software

Accounting and filing returns has never been easier, quicker, or more accurate. Accounting software is now integrated with most corporate software, meaning data is categorised into appropriate categories much quicker.

Financial information accessibility

Online accessibility provides financial information from the accountant to the customer – and vice versa – as soon as it is available, which streamlines monthly account balancing. This means business records stay up-to-date and the accountant’s life at tax time because much easier.

Document signing

The wide and seemingly endless stream of business documents that bounce between accountants and their clients took a lot of time and energy when handled remotely. But with signing and scanning technologies, customers can sign information as needed and have it back to their financial advisor in a matter of hours or even minutes.

Computerised accounting

Financial software programs have made life easier when it comes to tracking expenses, preparing taxes, looking at revenue growth, and more. Most software programs contain the ability to collaborate, giving business owners control over setting permissions for bookkeepers or accountants access to data. Such tools make financial communications much simpler – and save a lot on paper.

Security

The most important aspect of handling accounting information is knowing just how secure the records are. Computers provide multiple security levels, from two-factor authentication to antivirus software, to protect your financial documents.

The rise of AI in finance

The COVID-19 pandemic saw an accelerated increase in the adoption and use of artificial intelligence (AI); financial services such as mortgage brokers have been using AI for fraud control, lending, improving risk management, and customer interactions.

In fact, the Business Insider predicted that the use of AI in the finance sector will save banks $447 billion by 2023. With that in mind, more financial planners are finding ways to incorporate AI into their services. Accounting software programs contain tools that automatically streamline tedious processes, like preparing and sending electronic tax documents to customers, or full reports that can be created with a few simple keystrokes.

With the use of AI across financial services, previously tedious processes can be streamlined, cybersecurity can be improved, and the customer experience will be vastly improved – making for happy customers who will want to stay.

Security risks as tech grows

Naturally, as the usage of IT in finance services grows, so do potential threats; cyberattacks cost the Australian economy an estimated $29 billion every year. The disconnect between the cybersecurity needs of financial services and how they allocate their cybersecurity budgets needs to be addressed.

Phishing is still a major issue for the financial sector; access to bank accounts through emails shows how we’ve completely integrated banking into our lives. Phishing doesn’t just hit individuals either; malicious actors have targeted businesses in attempts to get access to their financial services and accounts.

Collaboration between accountants and their clients via digital means – email and through the cloud – gives malicious actors more opportunities to sneak their way in and steal data. Strong security measures like two-factor authentication or application whitelisting should be implemented across areas where financial records are kept and shared between the financial planner and client.

What MSPs can offer financial services

Adopting new technology and IT infrastructure is crucial for financial service businesses and individuals to thrive; clients expect fast and accurate results, and less customers want to continue using paper documents, which take time to deliver between parties and are easily misplaced.

Managed service providers don’t just deliver IT software and hardware – they seek to fully understand your business from the inside out, so that they can enhance your services, increase your productivity, and protect your data and systems from outside threats.

Contact the IT experts at RODIN today and discover how they can help you thrive among the every-growing digital world.

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