Accounting jobs are often synonymous with boredom. They are comprehended as sitting at one’s desk, going through boring books of accounts and financial statements and doing calculations.
An accountant is just perceived as someone who is involved in hardcore number crunching and nothing else. Well, this was somewhat true, but a decade ago.
With the advent of technology and the way accounting jobs are perceived in the global arena today, the truth has changed. Accounting jobs are one of the most glamorous and coveted profiles in the world of finance.
So what exactly has changed? Let’s take a look:
Evolving role of accountants
Accounting professionals have begun to look beyond financial accounting jobs. With profiles like Management accountants gaining momentum, they are perceived as someone with a great deal of knowledge not only in core accounting concepts but also in business decision making. As an accountant, being involved in solving key business problems and being a growth proponent to the company would give you a sense of responsibility and belonging. At the same time, those at the helm of the organisation see management accountants as equals, as advisories to them rather than just financial enquiry resource.
Technology has changed the way accountants function
With automation conquering all spheres of a profession, can accounting jobs be left far behind? Today the mundane work of accountants such as bookkeeping, receipt and voucher reviewing, scanning invoices etc. can be done at the click of a mouse. There are software programs which take care of these process-driven work, leaving a lot of time for accountants to focus on strategic areas of corporate finance. These programs can be used on-demand and empower accountants to look into larger issues impacting the organisation such as capital structure, cash flows, a decision on sale or purchase of assets etc. With the help of automation, accountants can also spend a lot of time interacting with clients and understanding their changing needs.
Availability of diverse roles
Today accounting is not just limited to financial, management or cost accounting jobs. You can explore many new age roles such as Forensic accounting, Finance Controller, Project Manager, tax advisors etc. The roles that accountants handle today is more versatile and broad. This will also give you an opportunity to take up new challenges and showcase your finer skills. You could also occupy leadership positions in outsourcing firms with diverse accounting verticals such as collections, Order to Cash, Record to Report etc.
Entrepreneurial streak in accounting
The entrepreneurial bug has bitten most Millenials today and accounting professionals are also not left far behind. Once you have gained substantial experience in the corporate world, you can start up a company of your own with any innovative concept. There are few successful start-ups such as tax filing portals, crowdfunding websites, e-wallets as well as online corporate advisory services which have been founded by accountants with rich exposure to accounting as well as an eye for opportunities.
Global roles in huge demand
A decade ago, investment bankers or venture capitalists came to be perceived as most glamorous roles in the world of finance. But today with changing needs, even accounting jobs are in huge demand for global organisations.
Qualifications such as CIMA, ACCA and the CPA are much sought after by many students who wish to look beyond the usual roles offered by Chartered Accountancy. These are qualifications which equip a student to think from a holistic perspective and make them a well-rounded professional. This also makes the profile more challenging and aspirants find it intriguing enough to pursue.
Industry witnessing steady changes
The financial services and banking sector is witnessing changes in the way it functions. This is attributable not only to technology disruption but also other macro and micro factors like global economy, adoption of international accounting standards, changes in risk and compliance guidelines as well as other operational changes.
With an industry as dynamic as this, accounting professionals are required to be constantly on their toes and move in tandem with the evolving market. So there is a continuous scope of learning as well as the adoption of best practices.
Conclusion: Accounting is much more than number crunching today
It quite a well-established fact that accounting is the backbone of a successful business. However, the profile was made to revolve more around mundane process-driven tasks, leading many aspirants to move away from accounting as a profession.
But now students view accounting with a fresh perspective. They are well aware that this profile continues to be in huge demand with a new set of challenges as well as opportunities. The perception is changing, hence aspirants need to be well equipped with the skill sets that are demanded to make this profession a success.