Education and entering the workforce are both aspects of career progression that have seen significant change within the recent past.
As technology has continued to advance and shape how we operate, monumental transformation has occurred in most professions.
When it comes to accounting and finance, things are moving rapidly. Already, many accounting tasks have been replaced by non-human services.
Tasks are being streamlined, efficiencies are being improved upon, and the nature of work as a whole is changing.
Not only is accounting itself changing – the way it is taught and learnt is being significantly impacted by the technological capabilities of today.
The Impact of Technology on Accounting
There are a number of notable impacts that have already affected accounting – from changes in the way work is done and who it is done by, to differences in the working habits of individual accountants.
The first and likely most obvious change is in regard to the advancement of artificial intelligence (AI).
As this area of technology continues to become more sophisticated, it will continue to allow repetitive tasks to become computerised, transaction processes to be performed automatically, and ultimately will move accounting towards a more autonomous future.
Regarding how accountants perform tasks, there has also been significant change within recent years.
Increasingly, everyday work is done on a digital basis, utilising accounting programs and software packages. Accountability has increased as a whole, due to the influence of technology on accounting practices and auditing standards.
The work habits of accountants have also changed dramatically – cloud computing has allowed for remote work, and recent trends surrounding working from home have encouraged this further.
The Digital Implications of Learning to Become an Accountant
It isn’t only the accounting profession itself that is experiencing change – the process of learning how to become an accountant is drastically different today.
Particularly, online education and remote learning have developed to a great extent.
The quality, interactivity and involvement of modern, digitised learning has allowed for viable online learning, which has seen continuous growth as an alternative to traditional education.
There are many online finance courses that provide flexibility, affordability and industry recognized training.
Not only are students experiencing different ways of learning – they are also required to have the appropriate skills and knowledge that prepares them for a digitized, constantly changing industry.
The Future of Accounting and Finance
Looking forward, there are many possibilities surrounding the direction of the accounting profession.
Evidently, AI will continue to develop and alter accounting practices, however there are additional factors that will likely come into play in influencing the industry.
For example, accounting standards will continue to change in order to consider new, complex accounting methods and areas such as blockchain technology.
Another change that may be seen is an increase in demand for accounting professionals qualified in big data analysis, as the potential to gain further insight from big data increases.
In general, accountants will see their purpose shift from compliance work to consultation and advising.
As computer programs continue to take responsibility for ensuring that financial matters are in line with legal requirements, accountants will continue to analyse, interpret and communicate information more heavily.
This will also mean that future accountants may need to focus more on soft skills such as communication, as these will improve their chances of success within a constantly changing industry.