The business world is going digital, bringing with it challenges for financial organisations that want to become Digital-Age relevant.
Accountants who are prepared to embrace and utilize new technology to replace time consuming and archaic procedures, fear not. The Age of Digital brings endless possibilities for digital-savvy accountants ready to capture growth opportunities.
The digitization of accounting services, means that accountants have the ability to access professional and personal data at any time and from anywhere.
To increase their value in the Digital Age, accountants must utilize technology to offer strategic and informed advice.
Pursuing further education, such as a graduate certificate, will help you remain relevant and up-to-date on the newest accounting procedures.
If you don’t want to be left behind in the age of tweed jackets and desk calculators, read on to find six essential skills for accountants in the Age of Digital.
1. Analytical skills
The Digital Age has resulted in massive amounts of data readily available for company statistics. Therefore, your clients will be expecting you to be able to utilize this information, to develop concise insights into the current and projected financial position of the company.
Accountants looking toward the future, must have both a theoretical and practical understanding of data and analytics. This includes understanding how to compile and analyse historical or current data, whilst also being able to conduct predictive analysis and determinations of future financial returns.
2. Business Acumen
Proving relevance in the Age of Digital within any industry, involves being able to offer your clients more than one basic skill set.
Accountants in the future will need to be able to contribute to the business on a strategic level, developing holistic financial solutions using business acumen.
One of the key misconceptions among workers in the financial services, is the perception that developments in technology lead to job losses.
Financial services professionals in the digital age need to be adaptable and flexible, while keeping their skills relevant.
New skill requirements for relevance in the financial sector include; proficiency in data analysis, technology and process design, as well as data, project and risk management.
3. Digital Intelligence
Digital intelligence involves the awareness and application of existing and emerging digital technologies, capabilities, practices, strategies and culture.
The most important tool of digital intelligence is to be able to understand technology itself, not just the one piece of software in use at the given time.
Accountants can no longer expect to be using the same software for the next decade, and must be ready and able to understand and utilize new developments as they arise.
The Age of Digital presents the need for a new skill: the ability to use existing knowledge in a new situation.
Creativity in the financial services involves exploring potential outcomes, making new connections and generating new ideas. Technology opens up many doors for new and improved processes.
Thinking creatively ensures you will not be left behind in the exciting new age of digital exploration.
5. Effective Communication
Information is just useless noise if it’s not shared effectively. Sound analytical skills are ineffective without being able to skillfully convey the information provided.
Accountants must therefore cultivate strong written communication skills, to be able to present their analysis into compelling and easy to understand documents for their clients.
6. Relationship Skills
As more accounting processes become automated, having business relationship and conversational skills is of increasing importance to be able to land and retain clients.
Thriving in business in the Digital Age still requires the ability to motivate and engage employees. Technology can do many things, but it cannot replace the importance of human interaction in business transactions.
The impact of new technology in the Age of Digital will have a positive impact on the accounting profession, for those who are bold enough to seize the opportunities that it presents.