In the age of technology and change, where can accountants expect to be 5 years from now? Industry experts predict the accounting industry will see more change in the next 5 years than it has in the last 50. Simply said, we are never going to see a pace of change slower than we are experiencing now. So, what can we expect to see change?
The Work Preferences of Millennial’s
Millennial’s make up the largest generation in the U.S. labor force. Millennial’s are more enthusiastic, tech savvy, and productive workers. They are also seen as team players who are eager to learn. Experts say the Millennial focus on teamwork was cultivated on the playground and in the classroom, encouraged by teachers and coaches who emphasized “personal best” and “group dynamics.”
The Retirements of the Baby Boomers
Boomers are predicted to drop to 22 percent of the U.S. workforce by 2020 as more of them reach retirement age. With fewer baby boomers working, there will be more job openings. Historically, when there are jobs available and not enough workers, wages go up to attract and retain the necessary workers. The aging workforce is also changing the way we work. They require different work conditions and bring a measure of flexibility to the office. As a result, companies are putting more focus on the “work life balance.”
Changes in Client Expectations
Consumers are looking for a seamless/frictionless experience. They expect companies to understand their needs and expectations prior to the transaction. Understanding how they use products and services is important to winning their business and loyalty. The current consumer is looking for a more tailored or customized experience based on past interactions.
Customers also have high expectations for data protection. They place a greater burden on the organizations holding on to that data than we may think. Most people admit to using the same password across multiple online accounts. Customers are reluctant to change their behavior, therefore businesses must prepare to respond to customer expectations by inspiring confidence in their cybersecurity strategies. It is important to make trust and transparency a priority for your company.
Lastly, technology has been, and will continue to be the biggest accounting industry disruptor. Technology is taking traditional accounting professionals outside of their comfort zone. With AI, blockchain, big data, and the internet of things hitting the accounting industry, what does this mean for accountants and how they interact with their clients? If the tasks that you are used to performing are automated away…where can you expect to be in the future? Contrary to popular beliefs, automation is not eliminating jobs, it is transforming the traditional work of accountants. Automation = efficiency. Accountants can automate away the tedious tasks and focus more on building and maintaining client relationships. With more time, accountants can act as more of an advisor for their clients.