Whether you're hiring new talent, making your next career move or simply ensuring your firm succeeds over the next few years, it's crucial for you and your team to have the right skills to survive the new age of accounting.
It’s no question that the accounting profession is changing, and with this, modern accountants must continuously evolve their skill sets. Accountants, once known for their focus on numbers, are now looked to for more strategic skills as greater focus is placed on technology and critical thinking.
Along these lines, the CPA Exam is changing to reflect the most current needs in business, as seen through changes coming this summer in addition to the wider CPA Evolution initiative by the American Institute of Public Certified Accountants (AICPA) and the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA), which seeks to update the exam for test-takers beginning in 2024.
These changes will not only impact future CPAs, but also the current generation of accountants and their organizations as they keep pace with the current landscape. As skills with technology, critical thinking, and less-technical yet important business communication skills take center stage, employers have an obligation to upskill their staff — and there are a multitude of ways they can do so.
Cultivating a Digital Mindset
Modern accountants are expected to utilize new technologies that streamline and improve processes in order to enable better decision-making. While they don’t need to become technologists, it’s imperative that they cultivate a digital mindset and become proficient with the technologies that intersect with accounting, such as artificial intelligence (AI) and robotic process automation (RPA).
These two technologies in particular are helping to offload and automate once mundane, routine tasks so that accountants can place their energy in value-adding tasks. For example, technology is playing a larger role in financial reporting to alleviate the burden of tedious, time-consuming work and place a larger focus on data analysis and visualization. Many companies are embracing this digital shift and must ensure that their staff, whether seasoned or entry-level, obtain the necessary skills to properly implement and utilize these tools to keep current.
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