There are five things the accounting sector should know, because it was one of the first to feel the impact of advancements in data technology. Some accountants, but most regular people, were adopting and implementing new technology like tax software and online tools to make the process faster and reduce the number of errors. Despite these new tools, which have advanced even more and made it easier for anyone to do their own accounting, accounts are more valuable than ever.
According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the need for accountants is projected to grow 11 percent from now until 2024. Between that data and busy accounting staffing firms, the future of accounting, for both accountants with established careers and accounting students, is very bright. If you’re an established accountant, a newly certified CPA or a student, here are five things to know about accounting.
1. Technology Will Change Accounting
Automation is not scheduled to impact accounting at all, but there will be some changes in the field and how accountants do their job. Artificial intelligence and machine learning is advancing quickly, and administrative accounting jobs will not be needed soon and phased out. The administrative accounting positions will fall to technology that is able to do the jobs quicker and with more efficiency, but it will not place the jobs of regular accountants at risk. Accounting has many cogs where computers will not be able to replace people, such as consulting, advisory positions and many CFO responsibilities. The firm, Accounting Principals, feels skilled professionals are the most sought after to expand departments, not software. Admin roles may have decreased, but the need need for accountants will not disappear anytime soon.
2. Right Now Is an Especially Good Time to Be an Accountant
Accounting firms and accounting departments inside major companies are expanding. The biggest concern companies and firms have concerning accounting is there is a shortage of quality accountants. This is good news for people wanting to become CPAs though. They will not be entering a saturated field. The unemployment rate for accountants is well below the national average.
3. Accounting Positions Are Finding Masters Degrees to Be Essential
Accounting careers may be in demand, but it is important to bring along a master’s degree before entering the field. It allows people in the field, especially accountants, quite a bit of room for salary growth. Online programs with flexible class schedules make it easier to go after an advanced accounting education while working. There are many accounting firms and companies even willing to subsidize their employees’ educational pursuits as long as they will benefit the firm or company in the long run.
4. Accounting Employees Do Better If They Have Specialties
Accounting careers generally turn out more financially positive if the accountant carves out a niche and becomes well versed in a specific branch of accounting. Any accountant that takes the time to develop a niche increases their value. Accounting will always be relevant and critical. Additionally, the accounting field will always have jobs. It is recommended to pursue more classes or seminars whenever possible and finding a mentor in the desired niche that can help with growth and connections.
5. Accounting Always Presents New Opportunities in Growing Cities
As the economy in America shifts, some cities will see declining populations, and other cities will see exploding populations. The growing cities will need people from the accounting field because their expertise will be valuable. For example, the city of Pittsburgh is full of growing tech hubs now, and the new tech hubs need good people from the area of accounting to help their business, employees and economies thrive.
Related Resource: What is an Environmental Accountant?
Accounting is an incredible field to get into. The above five points are some of the most important things to know about accounting. It is growing, needs more people and new technology, software and automation is not slated to hurt it but will be an overall boon to the field.