Functions and roles change with time. Many of today’s jobs did not exist twenty years ago and our children are being trained for jobs that do not exist today! The role of the accountant perhaps has been one that has had a longer life cycle compared to most others. But even that is changing. According to the Lloyd Morgan Accounting Skills Index, “the once clichéd image of a bespectacled, grey-cardiganed bean-counter with calculator in hand has fast become a thing of the past.” In Australia, 17000 new accountants jobs from now until 2017, according to  Department of Employment figures.  So what ought to be the new avatars that these and even those that serve today should transform to?

  1. Big Picture People – “Employers are looking for accountants to step outside the traditional finance function and be involved in ‘big picture’ business strategy,” says Hays Accountancy and Finance regional director Susan Drew . “Soft skills can be underestimated by candidates, but employers are increasingly looking for potential chief financial officers with leadership, management, and interpersonal skills – skills that can also determine the employee’s ability to fit into an existing team.”
  2. Social Skills – The nerdy geek image requires a makeover. Both traditional networking as well as social media networking skills will find a way into the accountant’s personal development plans. Accountants will certainly have a thing or two to learn from Sales people and business coaches.
  3. Understanding Information Technology :  IT ecosystems are becoming increasingly digitized and virtualized. How your accounting /bookkeeping firm adapts to this reality determines how much competitive advantage can be gained through increased efficiencies.
  4. Process and Team Management – Pin heads and number crunchers may have been nerds at school and top dogs in the job market, but how much will they enjoy managing people on processes? Perhaps the question to ask is how much will people enjoy being managed by them.

New avatars are always embedded in new environments just as new wine is poured into new wine skins.

  • Cloud Technology – has revolutionized professional services like accounting and bookkeeping by digitizing and virtualizing work-flows. A good part of data processing and data entry is being taken over by technology. The demand for talent continues to be crucial, except that some roles could be rendered obsolete.
  • Virtual Talent: If Offshore outsourcing for data entry is old wine, what is new is Virtual talent from global pools that are drawn into team design resulting in optimized costs.

For accounting firms that have been around long enough for this change to appear really tough, the solution could be digitizing your processes and engaging virtual teams in a step by step manner. If you are interested to discuss this further, contact us