• Register
Return to: Home > Comments > Financial Forecasting and Accounting Software desired skills beyond 2020

Financial Forecasting and Accounting Software desired skills beyond 2020

Accountants must become more proficient in financial forecasting and using accounting specific software if they are to be of value in the future, according to a new survey of accounting professionals

While the majority (56%) of accountants say they are currently carrying out tasks manually that could be automated, only 43% believe this will continue beyond 2020. 

Instead, they believe that the profession will take on a more consultative role for clients in the next few years, advising on issues like financial planning and strategy, with automation taking on the majority of analytical and data entry tasks. 

The findings are part of a new report by Caseware, analysing what accountants believe will be the biggest changes in the industry in the next five years – particularly around skills and the use of technology. 

According to the survey of 1,000 accounting and finance professionals in the UK, while 41% of accountants view analytical skills as among the most important today, this drops to 37% when asked what skills will be most important during the next five years. 

The need to accurately record data, while viewed as the most important skill for an accountant today by 61% of respondents, is set to become less important in the next half decade, and just 41% believe it will continue to be a key skill in the future. 

These downward trends are in contrast to the rise of “soft skills” and specific software use. 

While a quarter of accountants say financial reporting is a vital skill today, 30% say it will become the most important by 2024. Similarly, while 24% of accountants say being able to use specific software is important today, 33% see it as growing in importance in the near future. 

Whether accountants have the necessary skills to add value in the future however remains in question among those in the industry, with 62% of accountants agreeing that there is a growing skills gap in the sector. 

This is up from 51% in a similar study conducted by Caseware in 2016 and is not something accountants see as improving anytime soon. 

Shez Hamill, a director at Caseware, said: “Whether 2020 marks the beginning of the age of accounting automation remains to be seen, but it is definitely where accountants expect the industry to go. Most accountants recognise that technology will change their day-to-day job and that they will have to take on a new role which is more consultative and about adding value to clients. 

“The area of concern however is not about whether automation will take jobs, but rather if the industry as a whole has the skills it needs to take on this new, more strategic and planning focussed role. Based on what our research has found, there is serious doubt about this, and it is something accountants and finance teams should be looking to address from 2020 and beyond.” 

 

 

Top Content

    Brazil: regulation and technology form basis for recovery

    Opportunities in the capital markets and the ever-growing influence of technology are expected to have a significant impact on the Brazilian accounting profession over the next 12 months, writes Paul Golden.

    read more

    Mentoring support and the opportunity to delegate

    Jon Lisby will be known to many from his former role as CEO of Kreston International. Here, he explains the background to his new venture, Global Alliance Advisory Services (GAAS), and how he aims to offer support to alliance CEOs.

    read more

    Global by name, global by nature

    Stephen Heathcote became chief executive officer of PrimeGlobal on 1 June 2019. Robin Amlôt met him to discuss the various new challenges that he has taken on, and his ambitions for the association.

    read more

    ARGA team, assemble!

    The new top team has been named that will see in root-and-branch reform at the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) as it transforms into the Audit, Reporting and Governance Authority (ARGA). Will the new duo be as dynamic as some are hoping? Robin Amlôt reports.

    read more

    CORONAVIRUS TIMELINE: REACTIONS FROM THE ACCOUNTANCY PROFESSION

    As the Coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to spread across the world, the International Accounting Bulletin and The Accountant will be collating all the latest news and updates from the profession on the pandemic’s impact.

    read more
Privacy Policy

We have updated our privacy policy. In the latest update it explains what cookies are and how we use them on our site. To learn more about cookies and their benefits, please view our privacy policy. Please be aware that parts of this site will not function correctly if you disable cookies. By continuing to use this site, you consent to our use of cookies in accordance with our privacy policy unless you have disabled them.