Are you a logical thinker? Do you find finance, math, and business interesting? Do you like helping people to stay organized and help businesses run efficiently and effectively? Then accounting may be the right career to pursue.
But “wait,” you might ask, “what about future job prospects of going through this path?” That is a valid concern with any professional pursuit, especially since the modern economy changes rapidly and considerably. In some cases, jobs, products and entire fields (film developers, anyone?) disappearing in short order.
When it comes to accounting, you can rest assured that there will be a job for you. Human intelligence is an essential factor for analysing, reporting, and managing automated accounting information.
But that’s not all accounting is. There’s a lot that’s changing in the marketplace, from automation to Artificial intelligence to outsourcing. Whether you will be working with small business owners or large corporations, an accountant needs to be able to understand every business structure. While this may seem overwhelming, if you feel that the above description of an accountant describes you, then here is some more background on why pursuing the accountancy field is a great choice for the future.
The main question now “will accounting still be relevant in the future or will it be automated?”
Accounting will change in the future, you Just Need to Adapt
Let us be realistic, automation will take a larger part of accounting in the future. For example, bookkeeping, and accounts reconciliation are functions that require repetitive addition and subtraction that are better handled by computers given the speed and accuracy they provide.
As an accountant this may seem that automation will take over their occupation. But in fact it can actually free up their time to spend doing data analysis relative to how companies can better invest their resources.
Your role Changes as you Move up the Corporate Ladder
As with any position, your role changes as you gain responsibility and experience. A recent survey by Robert Half indicates that, across various industries and across different sized companies, as accountants gain seniority, they spend more time on non-traditional roles such as information technology developments and strategic planning. At present, senior accountants are projected to spend at least a third of their time in these roles. Given the changing demands of accounting in the modern workforce, these responsibilities are only expected to increase.
Whereas traditional accounting education focused predominantly on GAAP, or generally accepted accounting principles, that involves accurate transaction compilation, advancing in the accounting field requires a more advanced knowledge and thorough analysis of how to apply changing practices in the accounting field. If you’re looking to go into accounting, investing early in learning about technological processes and their impacts in accounting will help fast track your career to the top.
Be Prepared to be a Data Analyst or a Consultant
As accounting shifts more and more away from the previous role of monitoring transactions and further towards the role of analysing data and consulting businesses on best practices, your future in accounting will greatly improve if you prepare for the world of consulting.
Consulting can often be a short-time position, but can also be a great way to add additional income as well as to transition into higher and more competitive roles such as company controller or chief financial officer, or CFO. However, when looking to become a consultant, you need to consider various factors. Should you work independently, which allows greater flexibility in schedule and contacts, or register with a staffing firm that provides more consistency and makes finding clients easier? Are you comfortable with the rapid pace and flexibility that consulting demands? Do you have have specific skills that you can offer and which you have the experience and training to set you apart? These are all critical roles that help to maximise your impact in the world of consulting
Having a grasp of these questions and your skill-set will help to make further decisions, such as fee schedules, the frequency and duration of your projects, insurance, where you want to work and how to find clients. All of these are critical considerations when entering the world of accounting consultancy.
As an accountant in the future, you would be highly sought if you master the ability to consult and do data analysis, enabling you to help your respective company increase their profits and revenue. Understanding “what is happening, why is it happening, what will happen and what should happen” within your business will help you to stay ahead of the competition.
In summary, many jobs will eventually be automated. However, certain skillsets which requires analysis and consulting may still need more time until the technology manage to fully automate it. If you like accounting and would not mind having to adjust from being technical number person to a consultant then it is the job for you.
Still Worried About Future of Accounting?…
Growing Demand for Accountants is Expected to Continue
The Bureau of Labor Statistics, or BLS, predicts a 10 percent growth in employment in the accounting field between 2016 and 2026. This growth is projected to be greater than the national average. Why is this? Every business needs to file taxes, and an accountant’s role is to not only help businesses file their taxes properly, but also to help businesses identify how they are using their financial resources so that they can maximise profits. Since every business wants to make as much money as possible while also avoiding tax penalties, accountants will have an even greater role as the economy continues to expand.
Accounting Requires Human Judgement
One of the reasons that accounting is still not among the positions to be lost to automation is because accounting serves variety of industries and requires “human roles” particularly when involved in decision making on taxes, maximise profits, and increase investment opportunities for the company and investors.
In the future
Accounting is like any field and is subject to the changing demands of the world market. As technology continues to increasingly change our lives, it will only create further changes in how people do business. Some people may fret that some jobs, such as accounting, are at risk of decline because of the previous roles before the arrival of this technology. However, technology has always been apart of accounting and will only continue to play a role in helping accountants to be more efficient and effective in how they guide business decisions. Now is a great time to look into going into the accounting field. Hopefully, you now have a better understanding of what accounting will be like in the future and will be able to prepare so that you can immediately and effectively perform as an accountant.
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