Businesses today demand more from accounting professionals. Accountants today are expected to have an idea or full knowledge of Business strategy development, growth planning or future vertical industry trends.
Sage’s Practice of Now report shows that 83% of clients demand more from accounting professionals today than they did five years ago, while 42% expect accountants to provide business strategy and advice.
It’s no more all about books.
With good insight into a company’s operational expenditure, losses and profits accountants can quickly have a birds-eye view of a business and clearly see working growth strategies as well as those likely not to work. Many businesses today fail to acknowledge the fact that accounting professionals can be a valuable source of game changing business information and business most times under-appreciated and overlooked these.
For years, accountancy teams have been known to crunched numbers but this is gradually changing, as they are now expected to use these figures to help point out new strategies and changes in business direction.
In the past, pushing into new markets, calculating the risks and benefits associated with new product lunch and services, as well as determining which parts of a company needs investment were not responsibility accounting professionals are known for but today these are expected of them.
It is obvious that accounting future lies in technology innovation and improvement of productivity and also in being able to provide consultancy and guidance beyond their traditional remit.
How prepared are you for change as an accounting professional or a company?
A look at the business world in general, it is crystal clear that accountancy is changing rapidly – and is a huge difference from the world we knew it to be 10 years ago. The evolution is swift for some and while for others it is more of a gradual transition but the fact is change is an opportunity.
Accounting professionals, in preparations for the foreseen change are expected to equip themselves with relevant and relating technological skills and knowledge that can make them valuable to their clients while businesses on the other hand will most certainly gain more from their accountants if they begin to see them more as consultants with specialist knowledge, deep operational and strategic insights rather than just financial administrators. Accountants and companies willing and prepared to embrace this change will surely be at the forefront of future business leadership when it happens, while those that resist the change are open to been left behind.
Accounting world augmented beyond books
Some accounting professionals have significantly changed how they approach work or service to their clients, and the question now is probably ‘what next?’
Technology with machine learning or ‘smart’ capabilities is most likely the needed answer. Through automation and ability to work from anywhere and anytime, some 66% of accounting professionals prefer to invest in artificial intelligence.
At first this may require some learning of new skills and maybe investment for accountants and their firms but with an eye on the future, these invested time and money can yield better valuable results further down the road.
Adequately skilled accountants, backed by latest trending and relevant technology, will be better prepared for the transition process from the accounting world that is beyond balancing of books and filling of forms into that which offers a chance to drive a business’ future.