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Accounting Trends in the Modern World

12 MAR 2013
Career Path : Accounting

Accounting has always been the language of business, translating the complexities of financial information into more easily digestible summaries that the public and decision makers can understand. The profession has often been associated with the rather mundane and tedious task of book keeping, something of a necessary evil because reporting on what had already been done didn’t add perceivable value to a company. But as this century evolves, accountancy is undergoing a rapid metamorphosis in both daily operations and the role it plays within a company. It is a growing and increasingly complex career field. If you are looking into beginning an accounting career there are several challenges and exciting opportunities you should be aware of.

Modern Accounting Systems

Modern accounting systems fulfill the traditional financial reporting requirements while providing improved accuracy in tracking trends, enabling collaboration and quick data access. Advances in computer programs and networking give the familiar transaction processing and reporting better efficiency with reduced human error due to automatic data verification and systems accepting input only in the correct format. Information can be easily monitored and transferred across departments with sales forecasts and graphs instantaneously produced by pulling data from several sources at once. Budgets can be modified according to changing conditions, creating faster response to market demands and improved efficiency in production. Businesses are realizing that integration with standardized databases provides transparency, simplicity and cost effectiveness company-wide and are seeking stand-alone systems designed for their unique needs.

Moving to the Cloud

A major shift in accounting software is the increasing popularity of “cloud computing”, which allows everyone in an organization access to the same information at the same time, with a common set of applications easily accessible over the Internet. With accounting moved online, it tends to link to other business systems such as payroll and inventory with multi-user access and potential connection to front staff and the company website. Bank data can be automatically integrated, eliminating the need for time consuming manual entry and coding. While there exist legitimate concerns about data security and integrity, and traditional server-based accounting programs learned at business school will persevere, at least in hybrid form, the advantages of electronic data interchange between banks, suppliers and customers should encourage the cloud trend to continue to grow.

The Future of Accounting Careers

One estimate has the accounting industry growing at 10% with companies more often preferring specialists that add immediate value in fields such as taxation and audits. The line between traditional accounting and operations is blurring. Finance leaders now look for business-savvy individuals with stronger communication skills that can coordinate between departments and make presentations to help determine a company’s course of action based on historical data. More opportunities for leadership exist in guiding the business amidst intense competition in a borderless environment. Language proficiency in Mandarin or Arabic is coveted. Accounting training programs are assisting grads to look beyond crunching numbers and further towards advising decision-makers what these numbers mean to the company’s bottom line.


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