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Accountancy automation and the future of accounting talent

7th May 2019
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Over half of employees (59%) believe that they are not being provided with the skills and training that they need to be successful in the future workplace according to PwC's Workforce for the Future 2018 report.

Technology has completely changed the way that some workplaces operate. Many daily tasks are now automated and although this has not replaced the human workforce, it has changed the kind of skills employees need to meet their client objectives.

The role of tomorrow’s accountant is and will continue evolving, which means employees need to start acquiring the skills they need for their future careers.

Data analysis

With accounting technology automating many data entry tasks, modern accountants now need to be much more adept at data analysis rather than entry. Accountants process large amounts of data on a daily basis, so they need to become adept at using tools to identify the most relevant information and present it to their clients in a usable format.

Technology knowledge

Although much of the mundane paperwork will disappear thanks to automation, modern accountants will have to become much more technologically savvy.

Technology is constantly evolving, so it is not just necessary to know how to use certain platforms. Accountants need to be flexible and adaptable to change to adapt to any new systems and upgrades.

Communications and soft skills

Accountants will spend less time doing repetitive tasks and more time analysing relevant data and communicating key points of action to their clients, which is why tomorrow's accountants must be much more comfortable communicating this information to businesses.

Using data visualisation and dashboard tools and present information in a clear manner which businesses can act upon is going to become much more important.

Additionally, as automation and cloud accounting allow employees to do much of their work "on the go", accountants have more time to meet clients face-to-face. This means they will need to become used to the old ways of client relationships again.

Employers must act as well

Accountants need to learn and acquire new skills, but this is not to say that the burden of new skills and technological adaptability falls squarely on the shoulders of employees.

As accountants become more accustomed with mobile working practices and using technology, employers will need to start offering a more flexible and technology focused work environment.

For more information about how to prepare your firm for the accountants of tomorrow download our "Winning the War for Accountancy Talent" eGuide.