The Future of Careers in Cloud AccountingFebruary 2, 2018
Virtually every industry under the sun is adopting cloud-based platforms as the path forward, and the accounting and finance sectors are no different. The cloud boasts a lot of benefits, and its implementation is crucial for businesses invested in remaining competitive and relevant.
But this shift in platform requires a comparative shift in the professionals who fill the ranks of finance and accounting positions within companies. As we’ve previously noted, "There is an explosion in both the use of cloud computing and the demand for people to assist in the mass migration to cloud."
The demand must be filled by individuals who are able to implement the same ethics and understanding as their predecessors, but in a way that fits the modern technology and systems.
Finance vs. Accounting
There are two distinct fields that both relate to the way that the monetary portion of a business functions, and they can easily be confused. However, despite the fact that the lay person may see the same entity, accounting and finance are two distinct components of the future of cloud accounting.
According to Ohio University finance professionals are, "Often required to manage a top-level view of their entities’ pertinent financial information. They not only are involved with the data but also are part of incorporating that information into the strategic decisions made for the company."
However, accounting professionals are, "Much more intimately involved with the data. They do the day-to-day work of recording, organizing, synthesizing, and analyzing business figures for future use. Accounting professionals make it possible to produce reports, track trends, maintain budget, make payroll, and pay taxes."
Thus, the distinction is largely a matter of the specific focus that professionals are required to zero-in on.
The move to cloud-based systems has, in many ways, moved more quickly than the industry’s ability to acquire the financial consulting professionals necessary to keep the jobs filled.
Kyle Kensing, CareerCast’s online content editor, told CNBC that the jobs within the field are some of the hardest to fill, and that hiring managers struggle to find applicants who actually have the necessary skills to fit the bill. There are several things that make the career distinct in relation to the challenges that come with filling the job.
As reported by Investopedia, "According to a 2009 poll by The Financial Planning Association, 88% of financial planners and advisors started out with a different day job." Unlike like a great many other careers, the traditional format of hiring a college graduate with a related degree often doesn’t work anymore. Instead, filling available positions is a matter of creative problem solving.
For those interested in a future in financial consulting, there are several things to consider:
Do you understand the modern industry?
Beyond the overall fact that this is not your grandfather’s finance world, it is also no longer merely a matter of data entry and storage. More customer information stored on the cloud means more efficiency, but it also creates new challenges in terms of organization and security. Would-be professionals need to know how to navigate those realities on a cloud-based platform.
Do you have the necessary background?
If you are pursuing a finance career, and you come from a field that has given you the needed experience to get your foot in the door, you still must manage to understand the complexities and specifics of the job as well as the modern cloud-based landscape. If you aren’t coming from that type of background, have you acquired the high-level degree that will allow you to be competitive and competent?
The Business of Ethics
When Accounting Today overviewed the future of automated accounting, what they found was,
"Research from the United Kingdom has revealed that 37 percent of small and medium-sized business owners think that accountancy is becoming more automated and that they can complete a range of tasks themselves." Inevitably, the artificial intelligence making the shift possible will continue to be refined, and this attitude will become increasingly prevalent.
However, the reality of AI does not change the demand for professionals to fit into these crucial career fields. At this point, the cloud has provided a marriage between functionality while still allowing professionals to control the process.
As automatization increases the demand for professionals who understand the ethics relating to a business’s monetary situation will increase as well. It’s not just about job fields that are more tech-oriented; it is also about understanding how the field of business ethics is altered when information is stored and shared via cloud-based systems.
Correct accounting and finance procedures are a first line of defense for a business to maintain ethical operations. Thus, the future of these careers depends upon individuals who understand the intricacies of everything from best procedures for e-document security to the ways that Generally Accepted Accounting Procedures (GAAP) and the cloud converge.
About the Author
Avery Phillips is a unicorn of a human being who loves all things relating to people and their entrepreneurial spirits. Comment down below or tweet her @a_taylorian.