How the Future of Work Will Impact Accountants and Their Clients

Dec 1st 2015
CMO BrightHR
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By Paul Harris, CMO at BrightHR

New trends and technologies are emerging in the workplace all the time, but 91% of accountants have revealed simply understanding what they are will help them and their clients cope with the big changes happening in the workplace. 

At BrightHR, we recently surveyed 100 accountants to find out what the biggest challenges were for themselves and their clients. 

The survey revealed some interesting insights which could prove invaluable for their businesses going forward.

For example, accountants stated the growing diversity of today’s workforce - with individuals from different generations, gender groups and cultures increasingly working side-by-side - as providing the biggest workplace challenge facing their clients today.

When asked what HR-based workplace trends would give the most cause for concern for their clients, accountants said the top four were: 

  • Diverse workforce and the challenge to adapt to less homogeneity in skills, motivations and contracts - 48%
  • Performance management and the organisational processes in place to monitor this-  45%
  • Disappearing middle skills roles in the workplace, as more and more roles are automated - 45%
  • Technology- the rapid change of pace and uptake of new technologies - 43 %

In our survey, only 17% of accountants said the increased burden of compliance and balancing competing strategic and admin demands of HR was a major area for concern among their clients, but 62% admitted it was a heavier burden for them than it was five years ago. 

When asked if the world of work will change to such an extent that their clients’ or future clients’ HR capabilities and systems will be insufficient or outdated five years from now, a staggering 86% said they would be.

Our results also revealed two thirds of accountants are apprehensive about future changes in their own workplace with business planning and performance (61%), technology (53%) and the diverse workforce (43%) being the most important issues for them to consider. 

Following our survey - we worked with world leading experts to launch a new report - A Future That Works - which reveals what the future of work will look like and how technology will impact emerging trends. Professor of management practice at London Business School - Lynda Gratton and her research and consulting team - The Hot Spots Movement cited five emerging workplace trends in the report.  Futurologist and chief executive of strategic futures and research organisation, Global Futures and Foresight, David Smith, also gave his thoughts on how technology can make an impact on these.

To grow and prosper, we believe businesses large and small must embrace new trends, strategies and technologies. Our report is designed to help our partners, such as accountants, understand the challenges of the future and arm them with insights so they can benefit from the disruption and capitalise on the opportunities ahead for them and their clients. 

To download the full A Future That Works report and find out more, visit 

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