The bad news is that artificial intelligence is going to replace most mundane accounting and bookkeeping functions.
The good news is that accountants are going to be in greater need than ever before – provided they upskill strategically.
“Professional service firms in future will need greater communication skills and rather than simply offering record keeping and assurance services, they will need to become business advisors to clients,” says Judy Robison of Ucademy, part of the WNS Group. “Companies in the future will need to be far more tech savvy and understand the virtual world. Accounting services are going to be available anywhere in the world, so accountants need to be ready for that.”
Ucademy provides learning and development for the business process management sector – unlocking the potential of organisations by providing relevant future-ready skills and removing obstacles to growth.
Another feature that will define the company of the future is predictive analytics. That means processing huge volumes of data to get a better understanding of what drives their business. “High-end data analytics can save clients millions of rands,” says Robison, speaking at the Accounting and Finance Show at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg this week.
“Accounting firms are going to have to recruit more IT specialists and data analysts, because of the virtual world which we are entering. That creates a lot of fear over job security, but the only way to overcome this is by reskilling themselves. That’s what we do. We prepare companies for this future by allowing them to grow their bottom line and focus on the core business. To do that, you have to take attention off the transactional side of the business, which is becoming more and more automated.”
You can reach Judy Robison at firstname.lastname@example.org