What are the current trends in employment in the field of Accounting?
Employers are constantly on the lookout for accountants with the skills and talent to stay up with the ever evolving accounting landscape. Accounting is no longer limited to just creating financial statements or tax returns as more transactional activities are getting automated these days. Accountants who wish to succeed and do well in the field of accounting need to have a firm grasp of technology, be able to comprehend data analytics and have a good hand at interacting with clients. There are many factors that come into play with the labour market, regional economy and global economy that directly impact the employment trends across the globe. Broader accounting employment patterns are determined by a wide range of variables that impacts the local, national and international economy and labour market. Going in deep and learning more about the sector, the shifts in finance and accounting industries have an impact on the employment trends for accountants, particularly for courses like ACCA (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants), CMA (Cost Management Accountant), Chartered Accountant and more. Changes in the finance and accounting industries will definitely impact the ACCA employment patterns.
A Sage report states that about 90% of accountants believe that accountancy is experiencing a cultural shift which is more skewed towards technology. This cultural shift is driven by many factors, including generational change and client demands.
In this article, we will touch upon 11 accounting trends that you need to keep a close eye on and perhaps adopt and implement for your firm.
Let’s dive into it a bit deeper
- Remote jobs/workforce - The older way of conducting business has gone for a toss since the pandemic. Employees are no longer expected or bound to a physical workspace, and businesses should take good advantage of this trend. The accounting industry is no different and is on that can easily adapt to this change in comparison to other fields. More and more accountants are working remotely due to the pandemic and software such as the cloud is contributing largely to this paradigm shift. Cloud-based software allows employees to complete their assigned tasks without being in the same building. This trend will likely continue as well. There are many perks to working remotely, this includes flexibility and a decrease in overhead costs.
To ensure that remote work is happening successfully, it is crucial to get the right technology solutions such as virtual communication tools, cloud-based accounting software and secure online data storage and sharing.
If an accounting firm wishes to remain competitive it should consider implementing a remote work policy. It is very clear that there is more than one way to manage employees, but one thing that goes without saying is that you need to provide a flexible, customizable work environment in order to retain talent. With the support of the right technology and tools, this is very feasible.
- Data Security - In order for remote work to be feasible it is crucial to share data. As large amounts of data are shared electronically between accounting firms and their clients, hackers are also refining the way they hack. Accounting firms have to protect themselves from cyber attacks and other security issues, so it is vital to provide adequate cybersecurity training to the employees.
They can provide 2 factor authentication so that only authorized users will have access to sensitive data. With the level of confidential data that is shared in accounting firms, even a small breach could lead to the loss of millions if not more. Having a good data security plan in place will decrease the risk of exposure by protecting the organization's most valuable asset - which is your customer's financial information.
- Accountants with diverse skills - To keep up with the ever evolving accounting terrain, firms as on the lookout for commerce professionals who have a wide and diverse skill set. Accounting is no longer confined to areas such as preparing financial statements and filing tax returns because such transactional work is becoming more and more automated. In order to be successful, accountants should be tech savvy and should utilize existing technology, be able to comprehend data analytics and convert facts and figures successfully with clients. They also have to be well-verses in all aspects of business concepts so that they can provide valuable insights to their clients.
As the world is becoming more and more complex, businesses will need more specialized services from their accountants, this means that you as an accountant have to constantly update your skills to make sure you are ahead of the curve.
- Cloud-based accounting software - As mentioned earlier, in order to function effectively in an remote setting businesses need to move to the cloud and accounting firms are no different. Cloud-based accounting systems will help you to access data from any device anywhere as long as you have an internet connection. This is perfect for firms that work in different locations and have employees who work remotely.
Cloud-based solutions make it easier for employees to easily share files and collaborate with others in a remote setting. It will help accountants on the team to have instant access to their accounting data without wasting any time. This will help businesses from substantial upfront costs in comparison to traditional in-house accounting software and services and it will also help increase security as well.
Cloud-based software also creates workflows, saving businesses valuable time duplicating work and recreating repeatable tasks. Overall, this accounting trend saves time, and costs and increases accessibility and security.
- Big Data -As data is getting increasingly more complex, accountants are expected to effectively manage and analyse data effectively. There will be a boom in demand for those who can analyze and manage analyse data.
Firms will be on the look out for individuals who have strong data and analytical skills and have experience in analyzing data to help firms to understand and break down information effectively. This is where big data will come into play.
Big data is essentially the term used to describe large volumes of data that organizations collect from various sources. Accounting firms should store the data, mine for insights and turn this into actionable knowledge so as to remain competitive. It helps to recognise trends and correlations that we could miss otherwise. Such data will also enable firms to get insights and suggest recommendations to clients. They can analyse risks, predict the future or a client's finances and make the right judgement call.
- Automated Process and Artificial Intelligence -
Gone are the days when accountants or accounting firms are expected to input data manually into a spreadsheet. If a firm wishes to stay competitive that they need to automate this process as quickly as possible. This will save both time and money.
Accounting to the study conducted by sage in 2019, 58 % of accounting professionals will be automating tasks with the help of intelligence solutions in the coming years.
Software such as robotic process automation (RPA) that uses artificial intelligence (AI) will help to finish repetitive tasks quickly and with more accuracy. It will also help to analyze and study documents and will help prepare reports. This is a great way to cut back on the firm's time and money, and free up employees' time so that they can divert their attention to activities that bring bigger impact and value.
As AI is continuously evolving, the role of accountants will change along with it as well. Many industries have already started using this to automate manual tasks. Accounting firms should also start using such software to ease the complex functions handled by human beings.
- Taxation -
Taxation is going to be an active area of significance with respect to job opportunities expanding. The last 3 to four years have seen a lot of changes as the government is trying to measure to reduce the incidence of tax evasion and tax avoidance, so we see a change in the way people view taxes. The nation's laws and compliance standards have also undergone drastic shifts. Asset declaration regulations have also been amended and such things affect taxation as well. Due to such reasons accountants are in high demand and their salaries have also grown exponentially cause of this.
To sum up, a career in accounting is definitely a wise choice, as per the positive job outlook in the field. With a good accounting course degree, you will be well-qualified for management and senior-level positions and will be in great demand when you enter the job market. Many students get hired by accounting and finance firms even before they finish due to the high demand for accounting degrees like the ACCA, CMA, and CA. Learn to advance your accounting profession by considering the abovementioned points, and you are ready to launch your career.