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How IT developments are changing accountancy in China

Developments in technology are having a big impact on how companies in China are conducting their financial affairs.

Computers weren't used in the country for accountancy until the 1970s, but these capabilities have steadily evolved over the last 40 years. In the same period of time, China has created the second-strongest economy in the world and the revolution of technology has helped push the nation towards financial stability.

Alongside this growth, the economic efficiency also increased quickly. The total profits of China’s high technology manufacturing industry totalled 723.37 billion yuan in 2013, a 165.5 per cent growth from 2008.

With these changes, businesses all over China have become more tech-savvy regardless of their industry, especially as the amount invested into R&D grew.

In accounting, these technologies have made certain processes easier for businesses in the country. It has evolved from single entry accounting, to comprehensive financial accounting, and even integrated financial reporting.

Writing for economia, Liu Qin, vice president of Shanghai National Accounting Institute, said this has had a significant impact on companies, with better decision-making and fewer organisational boundaries.

This has now led to finance, business, and management functions being supported by the Chinese accounting information system (AIS) and has helped to further align businesses with accounting standards.

Mr Qin explained that this improvement has happened as the result of more information being pooled and shared, which has led to some processes being completely automated. Enterprise resource planning (ERP) has also increased dramatically in use, with many companies now introducing it to process information.

It is hoped that this increasingly blurring line between business and finance will eventually completely disappear and these functions will merge into one big data processing department.

This will lead to further investment in technology systems and how they can be used to better support Chinese businesses as they grow, and the need for highly skilled professionals who can support companies in this endeavour will also increase.​