A major consideration when entering a new field of employment should be current and forecasted trends. The trend analysis assignment in COMM 202 got me thinking about this and I decided to do some research about how the accounting profession is changing and what it is expected to look like in the future. I found a great deal of helpful information in Andrew Marder’s article, 5 Accounting Tech Trends for 2017 and will refer to it throughout this post. I will be looking at how these trends will affect my approach to the industry and what I can expect my future workplace to look like.
Not surprisingly, accounting professionals are expected to make greater use of technology in the future. Accounting and spreadsheet software have already simplified many tasks and reduced the number of hours once required to complete complex calculations. Advancements in technology are expected to streamline the process even further. For example, instead of having to hand in receipts and invoices to a bookkeeper for data entry, you will soon be able to simply scan the item with your mobile device. The software will be smart enough to make all the required entries in your books quicker and with greater accuracy than your bookkeeper could.
Another major shift is the movement from desktop based accounting software to cloud based software. As Marder points out, using the cloud: requires less upkeep, offers better security, and gives you and your clients better access to financial data (Marder, 2017). Greater accessibility and utilization of technology that can take care of the bulk of quantitative work will free up a lot of the time that accountants could previously use to rack up billable hours. Marder believes that an increase in free time will push accountants will take on a role resembling that of a consultant.
This was a sentiment echoed by Robert Gauvreau, a local accounting firm owner, in a talk he gave to my accounting class. He explained that the industry is shifting away from billing clients based on the hours spent crunching numbers for them. Instead, there is more a focus on charging clients based on the value-added benefit you provide to their business through advice and consultation. This means that greater interaction between accountants and their clients will be necessary moving forward.
That is encouraging news for me. Until now, almost all my work experience has been in the restaurant industry. I felt that I was at a disadvantage because my experience as a server did not provide me with what I had perceived to be relevant experience in the field of accounting. I now see that my years of customer service experience will be an asset in many accounting positions. I have spent over 15 years building and maintaining relationships; resolving issues; and providing excellent customer service. Based on current trends I believe that this is something that future employers will be looking for.
By looking at the trajectory of the accounting industry I have better prepared myself for my future career. I now know where I need to focus my education to meet the needs of employers. But, more importantly, I’ve learned how to market myself and my experience to potential employers. Looking at trends has made me more confidant in my ability to sell myself upon entering the job market.
Marder, A. (2017, January 25). 5 Accounting Tech Trends for 2017. Retrieved from Finance Software: http://blog.capterra.com/5-accounting-trends-for-2017/