With the event of the fourth industrial revolution and the general unease about job losses and the disappearance of traditional roles, this piece is about how we can change our thinking about accountancy to be more relevant than ever,
It is already happening in business as we no longer see roles advertised for Accountants but for Business Partners of FP& A personnel.
What this means is that although the more traditional skills may go the way of the Dodo, accountants can transform themselves into the Cando
Here are some paradigms to survive.
1 Business is not now bout post hoc reporting but using the management accounts on performance to shape future decisions, not just about numbers but the impact these numbers, KPIs or other business performance measures have on the behavioural, sociological and psychological effect on stakeholders. At an educational level, Accountants need to be more of a business polymath rather than bunkered down in the numbers. CPD should not just be about IFRS or tax, but should include other disciplines, sales, HR, IT, procurement and fulfilment.
2 Numbers are being examined from all angles by experts in cognate areas, IT specialist, data managers, HR managers, CEOs general public and many more stakeholders. The current trend towards cloud computing and ERP systems, open book accounting just leads to more interrogation not less.
3 While numbers are absolute, Accounting is not. Accounting principles are not based on universal truths or general laws, hence value judgements are applied to data and value. Such subjectivity breed controversy- get ready to deal with it and hold your ground
4 Corporate reporting is now no longer the domain of the accountant but is rather used as a marketing exercise just as much as a compliance document. The role of the Accountant in PR must not be understated as it carries a weighty responsibility t back up the marketing pitches with some hard facts. High profile corporate collapses have put the accountancy profession under more scrutiny about how they manipulated data to hide inefficient corporate performance.
So the Dodo went extinct because it couldn’t adapt or regain flight.
The Accountant faces the same dilemma- adapt or die , Clue lie in job adverts.
1 Be that ‘business partner’
2 revisit the conceptual frameworks ad values under which you are operating- do you really agree that you ae giving early warning signs of business collapse or are you carried away with corporate hubris.
3 Move away from short term profit centred thinking and play the longer game about being socially responsible.
4 Be a better communicator and have a better response than the DODO to environmental changes
.- Be the CANDO .