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Accountancy Tech. A view from 2030

13 Mar 2020
Harry Young

Accountancy Innovation: what will the job of an accountant look like in 2030

So, let’s get into it - what will the job of an accountant look like in 2030?

Generally speaking, the two main drivers of change in the wider financial landscape are legislation and technology. Right now, we live in a world where technology is advancing at an exponential rate and the traditional role of an accountant will be revolutionised over the next 10 years.

The buzzword right now around long-term employment in accountancy and finance is ‘future-proofing’. As new technologies come into play there is a natural air of suspicion amongst some people that technology might lead to redundancy.

Rest assured technology isn’t going to put accountants out of jobs. However, it does seem it will lead to a significant shift in what the role entails.

Accountancy will change, accountants won’t become obsolete; they will, however, have more time and therefore be able to add value in other ways.

Consultative role

An accountants’ role in 2030 will be a much more consultative role. Removing some of the more time consuming, data entry tasks they will have more time to interrogate and draw conclusions in a timelier fashion that will help speed up decision making. Access to the right information will require a change in mindset focusing far more on analysis and prediction.

Career paths in the profession will become more diverse and working lives will evolve as technology blurs the work division between humans and machines.

Driving change

As younger tech savvier people come through, companies and practices that don’t adopt and engage with innovative technologies could be left behind. While there does need to be upwards pressure from innovative and exciting young professionals to improve accounting processes, ultimately the Chief Financial Officer/Financial Controller/Director of Finance should be the person championing change.

If you have these two approaches working together within an organisation it will remain ahead of the curve and be better prepared for the shift to a more consultative approach.

If there is suitable training in place for new software and change management processes are implemented effectively, finance functions will improve. Despite the role of an accountant changing significantly in the next 10 years the key system will always be the person running it.

Future financial function

So, what will the finance function of a commercial business or an accountancy firm actually look like in 10 years?

First, within the finance function of a company, there will be far fewer people performing manual tasks.

With increasing automation, labour resources will be freed up to do other tasks and processes are likely to be far more efficient. There will be more consultant-style roles and, because of this, people will be at the heart of the business more than ever.

Some of the insight from February’s Modular event suggested that, practices will have access to real-time client accounting information due to open banking being adopted on a mass scale, which it is suggested will lead to lower risk of financial implosion.

Accountancy firms will also have to offer businesses more than just compliance; they will need to leverage value by taking on more advisory services.

There will also be more human interaction across the board due to increasing legislation leading to a more frequent and necessary conversation between client and practice.

What will your job look like?

So, looking ten years into the future might seem like a way off but now is the perfect time to be researching the technologies that are out there.

It isn’t just about reducing costs as many fear but about how technology can be used to increase revenue.

So, understanding it’s value and getting to grips with the business you work with to understand how faster access to financial information and the interpretation of that information could make a real difference to the bottom line could make a real difference to your career.

Don’t fear the inevitable change that is coming, embrace it, make the mistakes and learn, that’s how we will grow as professionals and as an industry.

If you are currently working in accountancy and finance, why not get in touch with to future-proof your own career or explore the market and look for your next opportunity?

Author

Harry Young
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