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Should Accountants Use Python?

Accounting often involves complex and time-consuming tasks. Discover the benefits of Python to make your life as an accountant easier

Accounting is one of the backbones of our economy. Accountants are responsible for keeping financial information in order. This allows companies can have a clear idea of the state of the business. Plus, accounting is essential to ensure the sound payment of salaries and taxes. 

With that in mind, it isn’t surprising that accountants deal with a lot of data in their everyday work. For years, Excel has been the go-to tool for accountants to do their job. Yet, with the increasing volume and complexity of data, accountants are starting to learn how to code. Programming is a key skill to:

  • Optimizing accounting operations
  • Providing innovative data-based services
  • Attracting new clients

Among the different programming languages available for accounting, Python is taking the lead. Given its easy-to-read syntax and smooth learning curve, accountants could adopt Python in record time. Python and Excel make a powerful combo, which can make accounting more efficient.

Let’s take a closer look at how Python can help accountants. We’ll cover some of the reasons why accountants may want to consider an online Python course to build their own skill set and make their job easier.

Why Accountants Should Learn to Code?

There are several reasons why accountants should consider learning to code:

  • Accountants deal with a lot of data. Before data science became such a big industry, accountants already dealt with tons of data. With the increasing volume and complexity of data, accounting is becoming more complex. Programming is the perfect skill to manage data and deliver better results to clients. Plus, programming can help attract new clients in the highly competitive accounting market.
  • Accountants are familiar with spreadsheets. Accountants have been using spreadsheet tools like Excel for a long time. Yet, these solutions have several limitations. Particularly, they lack specific capabilities to deal with corrupted data. Also, their usability decrease as the number of datasets increases. Programming languages like Python are designed to deal with data in all kinds of circumstances.
  • Accountants do many repetitive tasks. Accounting relies greatly on tedious, repetitive tasks, that are performed manually in most cases. Examples of these tasks are:
    • Inputting invoices.
    • Annotating or updating client information
    • Calculating taxes
  • Accountants need to be transparent to work properly. With so many clients, processes, and data, the work of an accountant can be messy. Errors are likely to raise, but fixing them is often time-consuming. Coding allows the creation of programs that are easy to reproduce. Programming provides an audit trail within the code itself. Anyone that can read a program you create can understand exactly what you did to the underlying data. This will not only allow you to easily find the problem but also increase your transparency with clients.

The Benefits of Python

There are hundreds of programming languages out there. However, some are more suitable than others to deal with huge amounts of data. Among them, Python is one of the best options.

Developed in the early 1990s, Python is today one of the most popular languages. It is an open-source, general-purpose language. That means that you can use it in all types of domains, including accounting.  

One of the main features of Python is its similarity with the English language, which makes it very easy to read and write. Readability is at the heart of the design of Python. As a result, Python is one of the easiest languages to learn for beginner programmers, like most accountants. 

Python is an extremely versatile programming language. Over the years, it has become a go-to tool in data science. It offers a great collection of ready-made packages to perform all kinds of data operations, including:

  • Collect data
  • Read data in different formats
  • Clean data
  • Analyze data
  • Visualize data

Python is unbeatable when it comes to automating tasks. Python can automate the tedious parts of accounting and make it easier for accountants to process more clients’ work than ever before. Python can help automate tasks, such as:

  • Calculating a client’s tax liability
  • Computing interest or dividends on financial investments or
  • Organizing income and expenditures to be ready for tax time

How to get started in Python

The traditional workflow of a modern accountant is evolving. To allow accountants to remain valuable in the future, professionals must not only be able to understand the output of analysed data but also be able to use modern data science tools. This will allow them to create more value for their clients. To gain an experience with these tools, a degree of knowledge of a programming language like  Python is critical.

Accounting programs at major universities have rapidly started to add basic programming tutorials. Yet, if you are already established in the field, going back to school is probably not a viable option. That’s where SoloLearn can help. The SoloLearn app offers a convenient and professional way for you to learn Python on your own, including benefits like:

  • A step-by-step course structure that lets you move at your own pace as you learn Python.
  • Coding challenges and quizzes to let you apply the Python concepts you’ve learned.  As you gain confidence, you’ll be able to use your skills for accounting purposes.
  • A community of fellow coding learners. This is perfect for discussing coding concepts or getting help with coding problems.
  • A code playground, where you can practice with live code and build projects to see the concepts from your coding classes in action!