‘2020’ will go down the history books as one of the most memorable years(mostly with not so good memories) for this generation. If we talk from the business side, the year 2020 has been a reality check for businesses as many of them realised that no matter how well-prepared you are, adaptability always remains the number one strategy when it comes to survival. However, amidst all the havoc wreaked by the pandemic, the Accounting professionals including accounting outsourcing firms have played a vital role in revitalizing the economy.
The ongoing pandemic has only fueled the digital transformation in the accounting industry which had been slowly and gradually going on since the past decade or so. While it has been mostly the millennials who have been the adopters of new technologies and tools to help businesses out of the crisis, it is the upcoming GenZ accountants who need to incorporate these new skills to stay competitive in the dynamic Accounting industry.
But are we really past the basics of accounting?
Well, not exactly, considering the fact that adaptability has always been the very essence of the accounting profession and seems to remain that way for a long long time to come
Technology is both the present and the future
The COVID-19 hit the world and the lockdowns were imposed in the majority of global economies with minimal socialising. During these tough times, the world including the Accounting industry has realised the importance of leveraging technology as it was the only way to counter the plight of the pandemic.
Talking specifically around the Accounting industry, adoption of technologies like cloud-based Accounting software, online communication channels, end-to-end encrypted file-sharing platforms, Enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, and others have seen a significant rise in usage.
The new-age Accountants need to be more tech-savvy and know the how-about of leveraging Accounting technologies to stay competitive in the ever-evolving Accounting industry. Technology has been a real-saviour for Accountants as they could work efficiently even when the lockdown restrictions forced them to work within the 4-walls of their home. From collaborating with the team to helping their clients plan recovery strategies, technology has been the center of attraction. This isn’t a new trend but a smart strategy that will continue to expand in nature in the coming years or so.
Data Analytical skills growing in demand
Data is both the present and the future and knowing how to use it to your advantage is becoming a key skill, even in the Accounting industry. Often referred to as Data Analytics or Data Science, it is becoming a popular skill that Accounting professionals are using nowadays to gain valuable insights on the business financials, identify loopholes and improve processes, manage risks, to forecast cashflow according to the current financial status, and so on.
Rising need to develop a basic understanding of Automation workflows
Early adopters of Automation have benefitted the most during the times of COVID crisis. While the workforce was limited to act under imposed restrictions, Accounting firms and Accountants who had daily workflows set up for them worked with full efficiency anyhow. Obviously, Accountants aren’t IT geniuses who need to learn Automation from A -Z but knowing the basics will only help them define what processes and workflows they need to allow them to concentrate on core accounting processes.
Need to understand the outsourcing model
Outsourcing is an age-old concept but as they say ‘old is gold’, outsourcing still continues to be a very effective strategy. The GenZ Accountants, no matter how tech-savvy or advanced they become, will still need extra hands to pull them out of the extra-workload.
Accounting is a vast field with n number of processes like Bookkeeping, Data entry, cashflow prediction, budgeting and so on. But Accountants can’t handle all of that alone and bringing an in-house team to take care of the low-yield tasks can result in increased costs including payroll expenses. This is where outsourcing accounting services can prove to be very effective.
Continuos learning to adapt to the market demands is/will be the top skill
The ongoing crisis has showed the world that you are never too old to learn and adapt according to what the situation demands. Continuous learning is a key skill and the zest to learn (though overlooked by many) has become a very characteristic trait that recruiters and business owners are looking for. Therefore, young accountants who are just getting started on their Accounting quest need to understand the essence of learning and incorporate learning into their everyday schedule.
GenZ Accountants will soon be flooding the Accounting industry with their new set of skills and increased technological understanding. Here we have listed a few of these skills that the new age accountants need to develop in order to stay ahead of their competition.
‘Adapt and upgrade for the future will be a death race and the frontrunners will have it all!’