Technology has opened up new faces in the discipline of Finance. The mark of it can be seen in activities related to Finance like trading in markets, interest rate swaps, banking transactions, forensic auditing, due diligence during merger and acquisition and the list is not exhaustive.
Markets and Trading
In 1994 NSE was handling 2 orders a second. This increased to 60 orders a second in 2001. Today NSE can handle 1,60,000 orders/messages per second, with infinite ability to scale up at short notice on demand. The settlement cycle has been reduced from T+3 to T+2/T+1 (Refer: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Stock_Exchange_of_India) https://www.information-age.com/technology-finance-banking-sector-123471800/
Financial trading got intensified with information technology. Information needed for the investor or trader is being given to them taking no time and impeccably. Software is readily giving the required information and analysis to aid the technical analysts with charts, moving averages, Support and Resistance, Relative Strength Index (RSI), etc.
Besides this, it helps the fundamental analysts in computing the fair values by reflecting the economic conditions relevant and prevalent. This requires assessing the possible opportunities of investment for investors so as to derive the discount rate of finding the present value of all the cash flows from the investments after adjusting the inflation. Investors are being well equipped with the news as and when happened so as to make informed decisions.
For a simple day trader, Ideal stop loss levels are being calculated and are being suggested to the investor reflecting real-time conditions. Pre-set prices help the investor to execute the order at the exact desired time. Top losers and Gainers are shown to the trader to enable him to alter his portfolio.
This enabled traders and investors to set their foot in the international markets and adding international stocks to their basket. Data visualization, while leveraged by augmented or virtual reality can make it a lot easier to spot trends and make sense out of a large amount of information.
Technology In Accounting and Auditing
Accounting has been a synonym for tediousness and monotonous work from the past. The profession is rapidly transforming partially due to productivity optimization available through newer technologies. Today, it is no longer a burden and is no longer a task-oriented project. Accounting software, available today in the market, has brought tremendous change by shifting the role of the accountant to an advisor. This helps the entire collaboration of Financial Analyst, Auditor and Accountant making the financial decision-making process faster.
- Cloud computing, a mechanism by which highly dependent sources provide shared computer processing resources and data to computers and other devices on demand. Businessmen, today, are able to run their operations across the different parts of the globe with uncompromised efficiency because of this Cloud computing. This allows accountants of different branches or subsidiaries to perform accounting tasks from any location as well as the ability to deliver financial information and reports through the cloud as and when needed for the needed period of time. This even eased the process of Auditors of Head Office in forming an overall audit opinion after consolidating the financial statements of all the units lessening the audit risk. (Refer: https://accounting.uworld.com/blog/cpa-review/5-ways-technology-transforming-accounting/)
- Tax Software available helps improve the accuracy and transparency on one side and tax planning on the other side. This helps the auditors to plan accordingly to reduce the penalties like Interest on late filing, Penalty for non-payment of Advance Tax and even providing the necessary information tailored as and when needed. These software are designed to get updated as per the latest Finance Budget, Circulars and Notifications of Income Tax Department. (Refer: https://accounting.uworld.com/blog/cpa-review/5-ways-technology-transforming-accounting/)
- Mobiles and tabs have made things much easier. They improved the bridging between auditors and their clients. Today a small wait is large enough to affect the businesses. Timely information, remainder and notifications such as Income Tax notices are needed for an auditor, acting as an AR, as and when issued to make an action plan in situations of submission of client data asked for by several Government Agencies.
- Fast and regular updates in the amendments of various laws and statutes help the practitioners to keep themselves updated. Several apps are also providing the details of case laws for the practitioners to enable a healthy practice.
Function of IT in Banks and Insurance
Financial data can be easily conveyed with information technology. Instead of inspecting and checking each and every detail of the beneficiary and the transferor by any human intervention, IT can pass a transaction instantly with accuracy. AI has even made it possible for the bank to identify and analyze whether there is any money-laundering pattern.
Suspicious data patterns among mammoth volumes of data are being identified to aid the forensic auditing and investigations. Claim management, which is one of the error-prone areas of bank which are costly, can be done efficiently. Debit and Credit card transaction is rapidly compared with the user’s account balance; permit a bank to decide whether to authorize a transaction. IT has made it possible for the public to perform any financial transactions even during non-working days.
Essential for Global Reach
The internet has been utilized successfully to access information on different market conditions globally. Fluctuation in a specific market area in the world can be easily observed and be used to protect the financial sector in other regions. It has been possible because of the complex database and network systems that connect the different parts of the world. It is major in creating checks and balances in the global market. Ensures comparative stability in the financial sector. (Refer: https://sfmagazine.com/post-entry/august-2017-improve-your-technology-skills/)
This article is co-authored with Ritu Parna Bagachi, BH VSN Manoj Varma, and Sri Venkata Sumanth Pisapati, Woxsen University.