Are your accounting skills still relevant?

Technology is disrupting the accounting field and finance professionals need to know how.

According to accounting specialist Lize Richmond, “it is no longer a question of if the accounting role will change, but rather how it will change.”

Technological advances have brought with it many advantages to the financial sector.

More automation in the accounting field has resulted in reduced costs, greater accuracy, faster processes and cloud solutions to name a few.

This is good news for consumers and companies but this shift means certain skills and practices are becoming obsolete in the accounting field.

For example more details and transactions are now being automatically recorded and analysed.

“Data capturing is becoming a thing of the past”, says Richmond.

Professionals need to understand how technology will change the accounting role if they hope to remain employable.

What every accountant should know

So in light of these changes what skills will future accounting professionals need to have?

Traditionally, only IT experts were required to have in-depth knowledge of data and technology. Today accounts are also expected to “collect, transform, analyse and visualise data.”

Gone are the days when only one or two major software programmes were used by the entire financial community, says Richmond.

Due to the sudden upsurge in software programmes accountants must now have the expertise to select the right software system for their company and understand competitor practices.

Join a training course

“People fear change and many older people are scared of technology.”

This is a challenge for companies seeking to up-skill their employees. Richmond urges employers to promote the benefits of training in order to get staff buy-in.

She says it is essential that professionals keep abreast of industry trends in order to prepare for the future.

“If you don't know what is coming it might be too late to adjust later.”

For more insights from Lize Richmond on these and other pressing Accounts Payable issues join the 'Accounts Payable Processes and Best Practices' course hosted by Alusani Skills & Training Network®, email them on faith@alusani.co.za, call +27 11 447 7470 and visit their website www.alusani.co.za.

Cindy Payle - Portal Publishing

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