ACCA: Accountancy needs to evolve in today’s digital age

With technology transforming every aspect of businesses today, there's a need for Accountancy to evolve its role to remain relevant and sustainable.
By: | January 16, 2020

Digitalisation is transforming and reshaping jobs in all aspects of businesses today. And one of the industries that faces the challenge of evolving and adapting to technology is Accountancy.

In the latest report by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), 80% of accountants surveyed see technology innovations as having the most impact on their careers. 79% of respondents also agreed that accountants will move into more diverse career paths in light of the changes technology will bring to the industry.

That reflects the field of Accountancy’s readiness in bracing for the wave of change that has hit the shores of the industry and will force them to evolve and diversify their skillsets to remain relevant and sustainable.

With a large aspect of Accountancy involving repetitive and numerical processes which can be easily taken over and aided by the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and automation, it’s imperative for accountants of today to rethink their career path and how they can add value to businesses.

And ACCA believes that the changing trends offers an opportunity for the industry to evolve. In its latest report ‘Future ready: accountancy careers in the 2020s’, it outlines five career zones of opportunity for accountants.

1) The assurance advocate

The assurance advocate is essential to the strong stewardship of sustainable organisations for the future in areas such as auditing, risk management, and compliance. They bring new levels of trust and integrity to organisational operations.

2) The business transformer

The business transformer is the architect of organisational change, driving the strategies of organisations, and supporting sustainable businesses for the future. They may be leading innovative smaller accountancy firms or SMEs, or exploring careers in advisory or business transformation.

3) The data navigator

The data navigator is a true business partner. They see extraordinary opportunities from the growth of data and uses emerging analytical tools to drive insights that deliver business outcomes. They champion ever-growing multi-rich data sets and use smart data to generate brilliant forward-looking analysis to support decision making.

4) The digital playmaker

The digital playmaker is a technology evangelist, who champions technology adoption and data governance within the organisation and sees remarkable possibilities with emerging digital tools in transforming the organisations in which they work.

5) The sustainability trailblazer

The sustainability trailblazer is at the heart of performance management in the organisation. They play a key role in establishing frameworks that capture, evaluate and report on the activities that truly drive value and in ways that are much more transparent and meaningful to the outside world. They will transform management accounting fit for a multi-capital world and see emerging opportunities with better external disclosures to ever-growing stakeholder groups.