Date posted: 29/05/2023 5 min read

Six skills CAs need for the digital era

Finance departments are evolving fast, and chartered accountants can offer more value by staying on top of emerging technologies. Brought to you by Jedox.

Australian businesses are increasingly using chartered accountants as key strategic partners, depending on them for advice across entire enterprises. A Gartner survey last year found the vast majority of firms are choosing integrated financial management tools, while a third plan to be using artificial intelligence for decision making by next year.

“The impact on the accounting field will be significant,” says Roderick Ongpaov CA, Jedox’s regional director of customer success, implementation service. “CAs now have the ability to expand their skill set and embrace new value creation opportunities. Automation, collaboration and understanding the innovation that cloud planning solutions can offer are just a few of the top skills for CAs to add to their modern toolkit.”

He has identified six particular skills CAs will need to better serve their clients:

Skill #1 - Automation

As manual processes are gradually replaced, it’s vital to assess exactly which areas are ripe for digitalisation and which might need further consideration. “Automation for automation’s sake is not the goal,” says Ongpaov, “but rather a strategic manoeuvre to ensure higher transparency and added value across the entire organisation. The value of this skill is identifying which tasks should be automated now and which ones aren’t yet ready.”

Skill #2 - Collaboration

“Finance has historically been the warehouse of all financial data, but the days of this data sitting in silos are limited. Collaboration isn’t just a trendy buzzword, but rather a component allowing financial analysts to partner more closely with HR, sales, operations, and more to offer a comprehensive view of business performance.” The value of boosting collaboration is deepening the ability for more holistic planning.

Skill #3 - AI

A recent PwC report, revealed that 86% of business leaders now view AI and machine learning as mainstream. Early adopters are already reaping the rewards with higher growth and enhanced marketing capabilities. “Embracing these tools doesn’t replace humans, but rather augments their power and frees up resources thereby creating value additional opportunities.”

Skill #4 - Innovation

Around 98% of the financial services industry will be using cloud computing by 2025, according to the World Economic Forum. Nine out of 10 firms will have introduced AI. The report claims that humans and machines will spend nearly the same amount of time on workplace tasks by that time. “Examining how finance can better encourage innovation will help CAs outperform the competition. Understanding that will give you the edge.”

Skill #5 - The Cloud

“Mobility and ease of use have made cloud computing essential for modern business, and a valuable resource for CAs. Cloud security is a top priority for organisations in tightly regulated industries so understanding capabilities is key. The key is knowing how to use cloud-based solutions with industry-leading data security.”

Skill #6 - Unifying

More data is produced now than ever before, but analytics are restricted if it gets stuck in departmental silos. “Unifying data is crucial for CAs to be able to truly take advantage of what the digital era offers. Achieving this requires a self-service, modern solution that provides a single source of truth in real-time so you know your budgets are accurate every time. Spreadsheets simply cannot provide this.”

The benefit of unifying accounting data is achieving a comprehensive, holistic view of business performance to enable better decision making and more effective planning.

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