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As accountants, we are constantly under pressure to legitimise our own roles. With more and more typical accounting tasks taken over by IT systems – especially in the traditional area of cost accounting – we need to be careful not to miss the train. Daniel Richards details in this blog post why accountants should heed the analogy with Kodak – if we do not change, we will become a thing of the past!
As a business grows, so too does its accounting needs. And this includes software. The are many choices to be made of a software
change is required. My own experience is the key thing to do is first understand where things are not going well. This post from it-director.com offers some useful advice.
From many chats with my accounting students, a large number of them seem to get the impression that studying AIS enables them to only pursue an accounting career. They more often than not react surprised when they learn that studying AIS opens career paths as financial or systems auditors, consultants, or even to upper management levels like CFOs. This article on Investopedia provides more details on these professions, their corresponding education requirements, and further links for the student interested in studying AIS.
We have often stated in this blog that the role of the accountant is changing. This change is heavily driven by new achievements in technology like cloud computing that enable anytime-anywhere access to decision-relevant data. At the same time, businesses acquire a plethora of data about their customers – so much data that professionals need the knowledge, skills and tools to excavate what is relevant, and what is not. As accountants, we should be in the middle of this “data excavation site”, handling this data mine to discover its treasures. This ACCA article argues that the finance profession (including accounting) needs to extend its reach and apply its core skills of gathering, manipulating and providing relevant information to a much larger data set. To enable accountants to do so, they will need to be the link between the IT department running the tools that enable real-time analytics of big data, and the business that needs to make sense of the results and put it in a strategic context. This will add skills to accounting that include data analytics and software engineering, leading to a hybrid role of accountants in the future.
Technological change has always been one of the common issues faced by accountants. What can accountants do to keep up with the pace of change. An article from CGMA provides some useful tips.
A recent report cited on CGMA’s website places technological risk at the second risk concern amongst a survey of Boards of Directors. The risk concern is with cyber-security, and was the number one risk concern of private firms. The report notes an increases in the perceived technology risk from previous years. It is interesting (and good) that Boards are well aware of technological risk – as most large organisations today are so reliant on their information systems. You can read the full report here and the CGMA article here.