How to become an accountant in the digital age
Accounting has long been a respected and desirable profession. Some say it dates back as far as 2000 to 3000 B.C. as archaeologists found evidence of accounting on clay tablets in Egypt. It’s come a long way since then – even since just a few decades ago – so what does it take to become an accountant today?
It may have been easier in the past to join the field of accounting without a related Bachelor’s degree. But today, competition for the field is massive, and with more people than ever moving into higher education, a Bachelor’s in an accountancy-related subject would be a good start to compete with the other candidates.
But that’s not your only path. Apprenticeships are a viable alternative and are no less valid. You don’t have to have prior experience – here at Big Hand, we’ve taken on apprentices with nothing but an eagerness to learn.
Technology changes everything
By far, the biggest influence on the changing state of accounting is technology. It has revolutionised the way accountants work. It streamlines processes, improves efficiency and accuracy, and makes the accounting process accessible to business owners.
With the introduction of specialist accounting software programmes, the need for basic accounting training has declined. There is less focus on the basics of accounting because the software carries out these processes automatically in a fraction of the time it would take a human. Accounting software carries out tax preparation services, statistical analysis, and forecast modelling far more efficiently. Because of this, accountants today need more formal education in IT skills, as the future of accounting will only become more computer-focused.
Accountants are no longer the number crunchers people once thought them to be. Instead, accounting roles have diversified, including the formation of strategic planning teams, advice services, developing new processes, and performing forecasts that computers cannot yet do. The role of an accountant has moved from repetitive, systematic work to dynamic, changing roles. In order to fit into these new roles, accountants need increasing knowledge of business processes to know how best to apply their expertise in a range of organisations.
Accounting has changed over the years, mostly led by the huge advancement in accounting software and automation in the industry. This hasn’t made the need for accountants obsolete, but rather, they have diversified their services to suit the modern business.
At Big Hand, we don’t just offer top-class accounting services, using state-of-the-art technology. We also have a host of business experts here to give SMEs advice and lead you in the right direction. To find out more, get in touch with us on 0161 327 2911.