Businesses these days are experiencing all sorts of challenges they have never had to deal with before. But this also provides great opportunities for those businesses who are agile and willing to adapt and change to best meet these pressures. Today we thought we’d take a look at what some of those challenges are in the Accounting industry, and highlight what opportunities they present for businesses and individuals.

Trends

According to Blueback Global, there have been some key trends emerging in accounting, which will continue throughout 2022.

  • An increased use of cloud-based accounting solutions
  • Increasing automation of accounting functions
  • Increasing integration of accounting functions with operational and sales functions to provide real-time reporting
  • Improved transparency, which has been driven by activities such as the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry
  • Increasing reliance on data mining to aid strategic management decisions
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    Challenges

    There are two key areas of challenge for the accounting industry in Australia:[i]

    1. Climate Change – As a result of the COP26, and the introduction of the International Sustainability Standards Board, climate change has moved from an ethical issue to one with real financial freight around risks, responsibilities, and opportunities. This needs to be folded into the fabric of businesses, their decision-making processes and potential impact on profitability.
    2. Technology – Artificial Intelligence has gone from being only feasible in the domain of the larger firms, to be accessible to smaller organisations. Use of this technology has the ability to speed up access to data, and provide real-time access and analysis. It allows the quick and easy location of anomalies as part of the audit process, thereby reducing the opportunity for fraud. The introduction of e-invoicing and automated accounting reduces the need for manual data-entry, thereby increasing accuracy, and reducing processing time.
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    Career Opportunities

    Accountants are currently in very high demand, particularly in the areas of Financial Control, Forecasting management and Data Analytics. In their report ‘Future Ready Accounting Careers in the 2020s’[ii], the ACCA have identified five key areas of opportunity for accountants in the coming years:

    1. Assurance Advocate – working in the area of auditing, risk management and compliance. The focus here is trust and integrity.
    2. Business Transformer – an architect of organisational change
    3. Data Navigator – using emerging analytical tools to drive insights that deliver better business outcomes. Forward thinking analysis to support decision making
    4. Digital Playmaker – champions the adoption of technology and data governance, and sees the use for emerging digital tools in transforming organisations.
    5. Sustainability Trailblazer – is at the heart of performance management. Key role in establishing frameworks that capture, evaluate and report on activities that drive value and transparency.

    Skills

    The digital transformation of the workplace means many roles require new technical skills. As a result of demand there is an increasing salary expectation for accountants with the skills needed to meet technological changes.[iii]

    However, this doesn’t mean those soft skills are no longer valued. In fact, they are more important than ever as accountancy moves towards a more collaborative working environment.

    Emitional Intelligence Skills

    Technical Skills & Experience

    • Cloud-based technology
    • Cybersecurity
    • Artificial intelligence/automation

    Soft Skills & Experience

    • Emotional intelligence
    • Ability to work collaboratively
    • Adaptability
    • Proactivity
    • Ability to problem solve
    • Project management
    • Customer service focus
    • Communication and presentation skills

    If you are looking for accounting staff, or for a new role in a forward-thinking accounting business, Katz Recruitment can help. Give us a call on 0405 499 228 or contact us here.

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    [i] https://intheblack.cpaaustralia.com.au/careers-and-workplace/2022-trends-for-finance-accounting

    [ii] https://www.accaglobal.com/gb/en/professional-insights/pro-accountants-the-future/future_ready_2020s.html

    [iii] https://intheblack.cpaaustralia.com.au/careers-and-workplace/2022-trends-for-finance-accounting