The accounting industry is evolving at quite a rapid rate. Students who are interested in entering this industry need to ensure they know what to expect. This account for those in similar industries, looking to advance their career to land better positions. In 2021, we will already see a number of changes in the industry, which will continue to evolve and change in the upcoming years.
In this post, we explore some of the most important changes to take note of. By acknowledging these adjustments to the industry, you equip yourself with an opportunity to get a head start.
What Changes Can We See In The Accounting Industry?
A report by the International Federation of Accountants explains that significant changes in the industry are expected within the next few decades. Even though some of these changes are only considered to become a possibility in a decade’s time, other areas of evolution can already be observed.
One area that needs attention would be the adoption of smart technology and automation. Technology has already become a central point of the accounting industry. The majority of accountants turn to cloud-based software suites to set up balance sheets, capture transactions, and prepare financial statements for companies.
The technologies used by accountants are continuing to grow, with artificial intelligence now becoming a central part of these solutions. No longer does everything need to be done the manual route. With advancements in accounting-related software, accountants now have an easier time capturing data. Automation functions allow transactions to be imported into compatible software as they are made from a business account, and the implementation of AI allows these transactions to be categorized in a smart way.
The increased globalization of the economy also poses a change in the industry. Companies are increasingly opting for international operations – in these cases, there are several additional regulations the accountant needs to follow, including currency conversions and international business factors.
Due to the changes that we see in the accounting industry, individuals looking to enter a career as an accountant should ensure they adapt to the changing times. Understanding how things are changing, and ensuring you comply with these evolutions, will help you enter the market more effectively.
Considering A Lower Entry Point
Starting out directly as accounting can be a tough one. There is a long learning curve, and you need to get the appropriate certifications before you can enter this particular career. With this in mind, it is a good idea to consider starting out at a lower entry point. What this essentially means is to target a lower position within the accounting industry – start out as a standard bookkeeper, for example.
This would give you an opportunity to get some first-hand experience while you are studying for a higher position in the industry. Other opportunities include an accounting assistant or an accounts receivable clerk.
While working in one of these positions, you would allow yourself to build up expertise. The experience gained in the process can be valuable when you try to move forward and gain a better position – as you can add this to your resume. During your period as a bookkeeper, you can continue to study in order to get qualified as an accountant.
Choosing The Right Course And Certifications
Once you feel ready to advance in your career and enter the market as a fully qualified accountant, you will need to take some time to study. There are various bodies that certify accountants and a number of different certifications that you can choose from. It is important to understand that not all of these certifications are equal. Some associations may provide higher levels of education,
When it comes to institutions that provide designations and certifications, it would be a good idea to consider the following options:
- Chartered Certified Accountant (Also known as ACCA)
- Certified Management Accountant (Also known as CMA)
- Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (Also known as CAIA)
- Certified Public Accountant (Also known as CPA)
Do take note that some of these are specialty certifications. This means that some of the certifications would not be appropriate if you are looking to become a general accountant. These can, however, be used for those who want to focus on a specialty within the accounting industry – such as accountants who specifically want to work with investment agencies.
In addition, to consider the body that provides the designation, it is important to take a closer look at the course and institute too. While you are choosing a course to help you advance toward the status of the accountant, consider the following factors:
- Consider whether the course is provided online or at a physical location. If you are working as a bookkeeper while studying, you may not have time to attend physical classes. In such a case, you should consider opting for an online course.
- The reputation of the institute matters more than you think. Remember that the institute’s name will likely be printed on the certificate you receive. When applying to a job, this is something that the company will take a look at. If you have a certificate provided by a more reputable institute, it may increase your chances of landing the job.
- Take note of how long the course will take to complete, as well as the specific content of the course. You want to make sure that the course will cover all of the most crucial topics that an accountant needs to know about. Additionally, the course should also keep up with the changes that we see in the accounting industry – this means using the right cloud-based digital software and providing comprehensive study material on globalization.
“Being an accountant always (unfairly) gets talked about as boring, but for me personally I’ve enjoyed every moment of it. Although some days are stressful, what career doesn’t have days like that? If it’s something you’ve thought about, I couldn’t recommend it enough!”
Paul Reed – Reed & Co
With a changing industry, people new to the accounting industry need to ensure they are able to adopt and enter with fresh knowledge. Getting into this industry in 2021 means being able to utilize smart technologies and work with digital software that makes the process of accounting easier and more sufficient. It also means complying with the increase in globalization seen among corporations in recent times.