Over the past couple of months, technological innovation has undergone rapid change within all industries, including that of Accountancy. In turn, this has meant that businesses have needed to reassess the ways they carry out their Business as Usual activities and their general way of working. Adapting to technological change is now a massive part of the way we carry out business and our working lives, and this looks set to continue into 2021. At Lincoln, we have had to rethink the way we interact with our clients and candidates, and vice versa it’s the same for them when interacting with us. We thought it would be interesting to see how our clients have adapted to the Digital Revolution – Sinead O’Donovan (Marketing Manager, CPA Ireland) discusses how one Ireland’s leading Accountancy Bodies, CPA, have done so in the following piece.
Adapting to Technology
With the onset of technology, all professions have had to adapt and change to the new digital revolution and the past few months have accelerated that. It has affected all aspects of business and all walks of life. Even pre COVID-19, Marketeers were not only booking radio advertisements but also having to navigate a myriad of analytics to make sure their advert were placed above competitors. GPS and robotics had started forming part of the agricultural landscape and farming. Each profession must now also consider their responsibility around climate action and how our behaviours now will lead to a future for generations to come. Now with the switch to remote working, businesses must also adapt to this form of change. The digital revolution was knocking on the door but now is most definitely the norm.
Accountancy is also one such profession which has had to adapt. The perception of Accountancy has been and to some, still is, an office job with a calculator and ledger. In some circles, accountants are deemed as the money counters. Nothing could be further from the truth. Accountants are at the forefront of business, be it advising clients or working within large business or industry. Accountants hold leadership positions in multinational companies such as CFO or CEO. In fact, the education that accountants receive is far wider than the balance sheet or debtors and creditors. As automation and technology continually evolve and change business models, the role of accountants and auditors is too adapting to this changing world.
Ready to Face the Future of Accountancy
CPA Ireland, one of the main accountancy bodies in Ireland, this year launched a new syllabus: ‘Ready to Face the Future of Accounting’. This new syllabus not only covers the core skills of a professional accountant but addresses the impact of emerging and disruptive technologies, including Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain and Fintech among others, through the introduction of these topics across various subjects on the syllabus. This feels especially relevant now more than ever. There is also a completely new elective subject at the final level – Data Analytics for Finance. This allows CPA trainees to bring the high demand data analytics skills to the market, in conjunction with their professional accounting qualification.
CPA trainees can now gain two qualifications by choosing this elective and become a Certified Business Analyst with the Analytics Institute. Further details are available here. The CPA Ireland syllabus also covers Sustainability Reporting. It is the ambition of CPA Ireland that its trainees will be pioneers in the drive to increase sustainability reporting among corporates.
There are definitely benefits to adapting to the Digital Revolution, and we believe that these are steps in the right direction for us at CPA in doing so. It is crucial to support our students and upskill them as much as possible to ensure they have the best chances in a competitive environment and a tough jobs market. It is something which we will continue to build on and work towards in 2021.
Sinead O’Donovan (Marketing Manager, CPA Ireland)