Drone technology is unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) that can fly remotely (Lutkevich, 2021; Kanellakis & Nikolakopoulos, 2017; Han et al.,2020). According to Laricchia (2022), the global market for drone is predicted to increase from $26.3 billion in 2021 to $41.3 billion by 2026). In 2020, the US and the UK for instance used drones to deliver drugs, material during covid-19 pandemic (Fortune Business Insight, 2022).

Drone technology has been useful in the war zones, intelligence gathering but those tracking the new technology say it has the potential to bring new ways of doing business to both big and small accounting and auditing firms(Ovaska-Few,2017), and are now being deployed into civilian roles, such as accounting and auditing profession, search and rescue, traffic monitoring, videography, surveillance, delivery services, weather monitoring, drone-based photography, firefighting, agriculture, personal use (Laricchia, 2022; Lutkevich, 2021).

The accounting and auditing profession has experienced radical changes in carrying out their responsibility as a result of current technological advancements for instance drone technology, the Artificial Intelligence (AI), blockchain technologies, Internet of Things, big data.

In the accounting profession, for instance, any accounting or audit firms working with clients that own big mineral deposits or mining facilities or inventory can now make use of drones to fly over the area to snap thousands of pictures and measurements which can aid accurate assessments of holdings (Ovaska-few, 2017). The old practice of climbing to measure a coal physically is over as with just two-metre GPS tracking pole, that can be done within a stipulated time and obtain estimated volume. 

In addition, the permission to use drone are nowadays required for all types of aerial drones. In Germany for instance, there are limited to zones outside nature protected areas and of high urban density or conglomerations of people Escobar-Sánchez et al.,2021). From December 31, 2020, new EU regulations will apply and replace national regulations for each country (European Union Avitation Safety Agency, 2020).

The Federal Aviation Administration’s issued new rules in 2016 on the usage of drone that is estimates is a $127 billion global market. It means a new rule has been set for United States to use drone technology for their operation(Ovaska-Few, 2017).

In Poland, the initiative of Drone Powered Solutions was birthed where a law was passed in 2013 to freely commercialized the operation of the machines. The accounting, audit, and consulting firm started a drone-focused division after the country passed laws in 2013 friendly (Ovaska-Few, 2017.)

In Australia, Rio Tinto who has it facility in a remote area planned in 2016 to start using drone technology to monitor mine sites including the staff (The Guardian,2016).

Growing demand for drone used in the workplace and in others area.

It was recorded that PwC completed its first stock count audit using drone technology. With the assistance of a drone, they were able to capture images at a coal reserve in South Wales and used them to measure the volume of the coal, based on the measurement of volume.

Amazon and Google are already testing ways to deliver packages with drones. Facebook has started using drones to provide internet connections in remote locations.

Ford Motor Company filed a patent to start the use of drones for dead batteries. The patent was filed on 3rd feb, 2017 and circulated on March 8th, 2022, and assigned serial number 11271420. (Forte, 2022).

Benefit of Drone Technology to the Accounting and Audit profession 

Some range of benefits derived from using the drone:

Time-efficiency and effectiveness: Drone devices help to improve and increase effectiveness and efficiency in the accounting and auditing profession (Discover Audit Staff, 2017).

Accuracy: Produce accurate data that can be relevant for future forecast and planning. Using a drone to collect insight into the condition of assets is faster, cheaper, safer and more accurate than traditional methods (Johnson, 2022).

Save Cost: Drones may save money for accounting clients, who can use them for stocktakes, mapping, safety monitoring and to inspect bridges and building.

Productivity: It can enhance productivity.

Reduce the risk of injury: For instance, the benefit in health and safety as the need for someone to climb over the coal pile are removed.

Speed: Helps speed up some business processes.

Monitoring strategies. Help monitor staff, operation and some dangerous zone. For instance, drones can assist the firm or staff to take account area difficult to reach (Discover Audit Staff, 2017).

Storage of long-term data: Moreover, drone methods allow for storage of long-term data which can be useful account physical factors (like weather, light conditions and geomorphology of the beach) for more spatio-temporal analysis (Kataoka et al.,2018).

However, note that this drone technology can’t work on its own. The technology produces data that needs to be interpreted and translated into meaningful information for a business decision. 

As accountants or auditors, it requires that they strive to keep abreast of how the new technologies works and how they can be used to enhance effectiveness, efficiency and then develop the skills needed to interpret and present the data so that they can continue to add value to their businesses and employers.

Conclusion

The study examined the relevant of drone technology to the accounting and auditing profession and also to the employer of labour who are to embrace it. Commercial drones are the way of the future, and it’s going to make a big difference for any firm (Ovaska-Few, 2017). It has been confirmed from literature and in practice that the accounting and auditing profession and employer of labour should have considered using the drone innovative technology in conducting inventory observation as well as internal and external auditing. It is good to know that drone technology has come to stay with us accountants and auditors, the earlier we change our knowledge of the technology to our advantage the better. Accountants and auditor need to accept this new technology with two hands opened. They should see how this new technology can enhance their job but not to see it as a threat.

Implications

This essay therefore, express these implications as follows that accountants and auditors should:

  1. be part of the at least 95% that will accept this new technology if they must prepare for the future.
  2. develop a new skill that is all-encompassing for them to be relevant at all time and drive the development of the accounting profession.
  3. become a consultant in the field to remain relevant and being in change of the world where we live by data.
  4. become a strategic thinker
  5. apply their professional judgement whenever is necessary.
  6. Established Drone-focused division or department should be set up to handle all matter related to drone
  7. Check the impact of drones on client’s business operations.

How it should be cited:

Ojeaburu, F. (2022). How accountant can make use of drone technology to better their job. https://ohimaiconsulting.com/how-accountant-can-make-use-of-drone-technology-to-better-theirjob/#:~:text=Drones%20may%20save%20money %20for,auditors%2C%20technology%20can%20enhance%20productivity.

Ojeaburu Friday
Ojeaburu Friday

Ojeaburu, Friday (ACA, BSc, MSc, PhD) is a seasoned Chartered Accountant with over 14 years accounting experience. He has experience in corporate accounting, financial accounting, financial management, financial audit, public sector accounting, environmental accounting, entrepreneurial accounting, Cv writing, business plan writing, online coaching, research writing etc.

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