Partner Lebrau & Partners Ltd.
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Why Accountants Should Develop Programming Skills

21st Jan 2021
Partner Lebrau & Partners Ltd.
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Coding whizzes are the big shots of the tech industry and in fact, their wizardry has been attracting many other audiences from a wide spectrum of backgrounds like engineering and finance. In the past, people thought of it as a niche that only had its place in tech careers. However, today’s world has made coding a vital skill in the workplace. Accounting is one of those industries that are seeing a demand for accounting professionals with programming skills. Gone are the times when having the skills to manipulate data in Excel and other accounting software was enough to give you a competitive edge in the job market. There has been a trending change in the rule of the game, and to remain relevant, it is time that you change your style of play. Coding skills can benefit accountants in both accounting and finance roles in the long run The IDC has forecasted that the world’s total sum of data will reach 175,000,000,000 gigabytes by 2025 as more and more businesses have come to increasingly rely on data to keep things running smoothly. Hence, a report by PwC places programming, predictive analysis, and machine learning (ML) on the list of technical skills that accountants will need to be well equipped with, considering that these professionals are often tasked with drawing out meaningful insights from raw data. Aside from helping you catch up to the demand of the job market, coding will definitely improve many aspects of your qualities as an accountant, making you a true standout from the crowd.

Coding will make you a better logical thinker

The benefits of learning to code as an accountant are twofold. You will need the capability to think logistically in order to take raw data and turn them into lines and lines of executable codes. This process involves you forming an idea of what you want your program to do, typing out the codes, executing and debugging them, and then testing it out if it does what it is intended. This systematic and logical way of coding will make you improve your logistical thinking skills and up your game as an accounting professional.

You will handle financial and employee data more efficiently

Financial and employee data is the heart of accounting. For example, most accountants work on an hourly rate and make use of an employee activity tracker. The responsibilities of accountants range from financial data production, through financial data modeling and analysis, and to the provision of useful insights that may assist their organizations with good decision making. With the skills of programming, you can help streamline the overall process of data analysis, regardless of the amount of data present. With just lines of codes, processes that usually take weeks or months can be completed in a matter of days.

Data analysis can go large-scale

Conventional technologies like spreadsheets or worksheets can only handle this much data. Programming will scale things up, allowing you to perform large-scale data analysis at ease. When you need to extract information from stacks of financial reports and statistically analyze them, you can create a program that helps you process and sieve through the data and identify any discrepancy or error in a really short period of time, which may likely soak up your time and resources if it is done in manual ways.

You can create programs that automate actions on your PC

Having familiarity with programming languages means that you can code a program from scratch and use it to automate tasks in Excel or other software. From a simple program that generates daily reports to a more sophisticated one that helps perform calculations from inputs and generate crucial insights, you will have the freedom to create any program that you want, and the possibilities are indeed endless. Plus, you can also help improve any other existing accounting processes in order to make your organization operate more efficiently and effectively. With the knowledge of programming, you will be able to come up with improvements to the existing processes that need a little bit of tweaking. Alternatively, you may go all out and create real, marketable software that addresses any missing functions that you have come across in other accounting software.

It is never too late to take the first step towards advancing your career

There is a wide range of programming languages you can learn for free, and you may easily become overwhelmed when researching an appropriate one. That being said, Python and R are widely used in data science and also most relevant to accounting. Both of these programming languages support contemporary ML methods and data visualization techniques. Plus, these languages come with packages that can handle and read text well and process large files considerably fast. This means that programming makes the process of data cleaning a lot faster and eliminates human errors, and this is crucial in accounting.

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