The Future Of Accounting

The accountancy profession, like all professions, is going through a period of assessment of its future position as a result of numerous changes in culture, technology and the world of work. The profession has moved far beyond mere bookkeeping and payroll, it’s taking a strategic role for forward-thinking businesses. Technologies such as cloud-based data management, process automation and advanced analytics are likely to further elevate accountants in new and empowering ways. 

Technology Will Support, Not Replace Accountants

The work life balance for accountants will improve as a result of automation and accounting technology. Despite what some industry leaders have said about accountancy ending in death by digital, accountants, like other professionals need to worry much more about adaptation than replacement. The pandemic has accelerated the process of digital transformation and there is no doubt that this transformation has radically changed the playing field. Big data has become a rich resource that needs to be tapped into if companies want to stay in the game. For those that are ready to do this, grab onto the potential digital tools, this shift is an opportunity, not a threat.

An Automated Mindset

A decade ago, the work of a finance function was 75% repetitive processing work, while 25% was advisory. Since then, those figures have flipped as a lot of businesses automate processes and systems and look to their finance function for greater analysis and forecasts. By automating time-consuming, manual tasks accounting staff are being freed up to focus more on strategic work. This strategic work is more important than ever as companies are expecting their accountants to deliver greater value towards the organisations’ bottom line. In other words, finance functions are being thought of as profit generators, as opposed to cost-saving centres. 

Accountants Of Tomorrow

The skill set required of tomorrow’s accountants is changing and expanding alongside the job description. Future accounting teams will be comprised of dedicated accounting professionals, subject matter experts from other areas of the business and technology. Accounting professionals who can understand and can use distributed ledger technologies will be in high demand for process development, auditing and records management and more. Those who can teach others about blockchain and recognise its  potential in accounting will be of even more value to companies. The tech-savvy commercial accountant will be in much higher demand than one focused purely on technical compliance issues. 

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