Accounting Challenges in the Modern Era

By December 2, 2013Accounting

url-5The past decade has seen significant amounts of change in the accounting arena, including the need for the acquisition of and honing of modern accounting skills. Accounting has gradually become a sector that is embedded with finance, marketing and sales. Dozens of new software applications are now becoming industry standard in the big accounting firms and the industry is moving towards standardization on a global scale. Those new to the accounting industry, or attempting to keep up with change, are required to keep on top of these new developments.

Out With the Old, In With the New

Both the public and private sector have been drifting away from traditional accounting platforms over the last decade. Instead, SaaS and cloud-based accounting systems and related accounting skills are becoming increasingly more prevalent. SaaS accounting programs allow for better integration with the sales and administrative teams, global connectivity, increased security and the leverage of advanced technology. Modern accounting software providers have been increasing their product offerings and working to integrate them with customer relationship management (CRM) software, enterprise resource planning (ERP) and software and marketing and business intelligence suites.

Keeping Costs Down and Profits Up

Accountants today need to be extraordinarily efficient in all of their dealings to keep overhead costs down. Modern accounting has become a global industry, with many services being outsourced to other parts of the world. More than ever, accounting professionals today need to ensure that their services are cost-effective and accounting skills top notch to remain competitive within the market. Many small to moderately sized firms have needed to increase their productivity through the adoption of new procedures, new training methods and new software systems. An accounting firm today needs to take advantage of every opportunity they have to lower costs and keep their profits up, and many companies are finding that they need to maintain a tremendously high volume of work to remain profitable.

Security is Still the Biggest Risk

There have been many highly publicized breaches in accounting and financial data in recent years. Information becomes more digitized every year, and many accounting firms have completely paperless offices. Security becomes a larger risk with outdated systems and improper employee training. Companies may be able to avoid security risks by investing in SaaS software packages that come with regularly updated security protocols and training seminars. Those that are concerned with their security may also want to create specific protocols for their employees, such as procedures regarding the use of mobile devices for business purposes.

With organizations becoming more reliant on their accountants and their accounting skills day by day, these individuals need to learn how to best utilize a variety of expertise within the industry. The modern accountant needs to be extremely technologically savvy, aware of the accounting industry on a global scale and able to integrate their data into actionable information regarding sales, marketing and overall corporate efficiency. Modern accounting positions are extremely sophisticated but also very competitive. Those that are not on the top of their game and do not take advantage of the new technology available to them may find themselves quickly being outpaced.

You’re reading Journal Entries, a publication all about accounting by FloQast.  FloQast makes software to empower accounting departments to collaborate and manage the financial close process.