financial accounting jobs

financial accounting jobs

The Evolution and Future Trends of Financial Accounting Jobs

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1. Introduction to Financial Accounting Jobs

The service delivery model of CPAs is changing. This change, rather it be steered by professionals, academics, or recognized standard setters, is difficult and complex. The change exemplifies the proposition that a competitive market will demand the required changes despite ongoing discussions about whether these changes allow a human element in the profession to remain as it is today. This chapter provides an overview of the life cycle of professional accountants’ jobs including the changes that are currently occurring and are likely to occur in the future. Summarized is the employment market for financial professionals starting with the current supply of professional accountants.

The supply and demand for financial accounting talent has always been an interesting topic for professionals who provide that talent, recruiters, and the academic community. It is a topic that recently changed from issues related to how to recruit the best students to discussions focused on whether future CPAs should be persons, machines, or a combination of both. The focus of who actually will be providing financial accounting talent changed because significant external events have changed the service delivery model for CPAs, including press releases by 2020 that highlight the use of emerging technologies and what that means for the future practice of accounting professionals, the development of data analytics and dashboards to access the applicability of new accounting standards, the audit quality discussions that have dominated regulatory agendas, the advent of standardized data, and the offering of graphic reports in financial statements to name a few.

2. Historical Overview of Financial Accounting Roles

These guidelines tell accountants and auditors how to do their jobs; they do not, however, provide the work with a basis for deciding if the information produced is useful to the audience. Consequently, some employers expect ambitious candidates to start practice in simpler files to familiarize themselves with similar transactions under progressively complex circumstances. Their progression from one position to another is more rapid as their knowledge and understanding of the accounting process equals or surpasses their experience from year to year. Accounting can be an office, a position, or an attitude. Any or all of these indicate the meaning of the words originating from the same word root. The word office derives from the Latin words officium and official. These words in the medieval English dictionary evolved to include terms associated with the clerks of the king’s treasury. The use of the word nowadays refers to a place where activities of a department of an organization are transacted. The department of an organization includes many positions entitled accountant and portrays an indicating sequence of duties of ascending order involving the collection of transacted data into a polished product for presentation to the audience.

The American environment in 1900 was characterized by tumultuous changes. No one could have predicted the tremendous impact the industrial revolution had on almost every aspect of U.S. economic life. Visionary leaders, daring entrepreneurs, and risk-taking managers took the initiative to develop, capitalize, and operate large-scale enterprises. They found ingenious ways to reorganize and change jobs and activities that had for centuries been unchanging. The standardization of and economic use of resources that industrialization brought about led to cost accounting as it is known today. Companies with divisions and branches scattered from coast to coast required special accounting devices not particularly needed by the small trading or mercantile concerns of the past. As the economy matured, the government saw the necessity of protecting the public interest from abuse through enactment of security laws and rules setting accounting standards.

3. Emerging Trends in Financial Accounting Careers

Consulting firms find that many services performed by the profession generally strengthen a client’s position in its market with timely and reliable financial information. This service frequently includes research and study conducted to assess a company’s accounting and reporting, performance measurement, and financial reporting for the fast-paced changes in constantly evolving technical standards, industry practice, and specialized expertise. As a result, this consulting work also includes forecasting future financial periods’ results and presenting results of a specific financial projection of a client company.

Several emerging trends are evident in the financial accounting workplace. As all business experts must now have a background in accounting, the demand for these professionals has increased. Also, in the rapidly expanding area of consulting and information technology, companies are turning to members of the accounting profession for their sound judgment and analytical skills, in addition to their accounting knowledge.

4. Skills and Qualifications for Success in Financial Accounting Jobs

The expert knowledge of the concepts and principles that underlie the profession distinguishes accountants from other professionals who work with financial data. Many accounting job titles, including such titles as controller, comptroller, treasurer, tax manager, and internal audit examiner, and managers usually denote areas of employing more sophisticated accounting knowledge as well as general business skills. These managers’ functions have both the design of financial models or calculations, the periodic preparation and auditing of financial statements and other reports, and the communication of the results to persons inside and outside the corporation.

One of the primary skills essential for accountants is the ability to work easily with numbers, in managing a great quantity of figures, coming up with a clear and logically structured presentation. Other skills essential to succeed in an accounting career may be summarized as: attention to detail, independence, judgment, reliability, and ethical behavior. Independence demands a great deal of creativity and self-discipline in undertaking learning, problem-solving, and decision making. Judgment is important for the accountant in decision-making in finding out financial statements and in providing a proper solution under the contingency. Reliability is important for success in accounting practice, concepts, terminology, and the broad comprehension of financial statement preparation and presentation. Communication skills are important to success in accounting careers, especially for advancement. An effective accountant must be able to communicate the meaning and implications of financial statements to others both inside and outside the organization.

5. The Impact of Technology on the Future of Financial Accounting Roles

The rapid spread of technological advances highlights the growing complexity of global business and accounting. Many developments and emerging technologies present significant financial challenges and opportunities in accounting and the job market. Innovations for the next decade include artificial intelligence, cognitive technology, extended reality (augmented reality, virtual reality), big data, 3D work, the Internet of Things, 3D printing, Distributed ledger technology (DLT, blockchains), cybersecurity, autonomous entities, mobile devices, advanced analytics or data usage, and adaptive learning. The IFDEF Core and Code project has set up the Professional Accountants in Business and Emerging Technology panel, which consists of leading experts from around the world, including the academic and business sector, to analyze future trends and the potential to transform the accounting, governance, and regulatory environment. In particular, the representation of IFAC in business areas where artificial intelligence and data learning are used and developed to ensure that technology is not only appropriately governed but also operates in line with the public interest.

New technologies have created the finance jobs of the future, and at the same time enabled many traditional jobs to be automated. The number of career opportunities in high-skilled professional financial roles has continued to grow since their rise in line with the emergence of publicly owned companies during the industrial revolution. Even in low-income accounting jobs, there is a future, especially in developing economies, as there is significant demand for employment opportunities that offer a ladder of upward economic mobility as the size of the middle class in developing countries continues to grow. In addition, recent high-level discussions around the growth of the so-called gig economy, particularly regarding short-term and freelance work, refer to this tendency of individuals to rotate through conventional jobs in the labor market, contribute satisfying job experiences, and new career explorations. With the advent of new technology, the range and organizational arrangements of financial positions will expand over time.

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