Every accountant is thinking what technology and most importantly automation will do to their careers. Some worries about a world where automation takes over important accounting functions or perhaps even replaces us altogether, while others remain more unconvinced. But as businesses look to computerize their accounts receivables or expense reports, it becomes clear that young accountants cannot count on doing the similar old thing that their predecessors did.
Here are some of the most important to thrive in this new technological era.
Just like written communication, better verbal communication will only come through practice. Accountants cannot be an advisor if they have no capability to speak with clients, discover what they want, and suggest a business solution. Accountants will thus have to develop both solid oral and written communication skills.
A skilled accountant will be able to offer advice to practically any client. But the best accountants will focus on a particular industry, understand the unique accounting challenges which that industry faces, and come up with a solution.
Offering knowledge and advice is something which machines cannot so easily replicate and accountants need to find their niche as machines do more routine work. Combine these two trends, accountants should choose an industry and learn everything they can be reading and developing relationships.
Empathy means understanding what other people are thinking, and from there understanding how you can truly help them. An accountant without empathy will drop bad news on a client, while an accountant with empathy will look to soften the impact and discuss how they can work together to make things better.
By understanding and valuing other perspectives, an empathic accountant can discover new ways of doing things, find diverse ways to assist clients and be a better team player and representative.
To the majority people, “creative accounting” means dishonest accountants using immoral tricks to hide the truth. But creativity simply means looking at things from a different point of view and coming up with new solutions to rising problems. New technology will create new problems, and the great accountants will be those who can find new solutions.
An accountant who has found a specialty can use his creative juices to come up with a gainful solution, while empathy ensures that the solution is ethical. Then the accountant converses the solution to his clients.
As accounting practices focus more on advisory services and your clients experience increasingly complex and unique problems, all accountants must be equipped to navigate unexpected challenges.
If you can build your team to include accountants who are well-versed in each of these areas, your accounting practice will grow from strength to strength.