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Accounting to undergo 'strategic' shift

A consulting expert has outlined the growing global expectations placed upon accountants in an increasingly byzantine business environment.

Accounting to undergo 'strategic' shift
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Louise Pope, founding director of Aequalis Consulting, noted that the role played by accountancy professionals is in the process of evolving into activities that directly guide and support an organisation’s strategic direction.

“There is a growing global expectation that accountants must go beyond technical competencies to fill relatively complex roles with strategic, advisory and risk management dimensions,” Ms Pope stated.

According to Ms Pope, the emergence of big data technology and software will also create a need for accountants to provide a “predictive interpretation” of financial data, noting that finance professionals need to be as commercially aware as they are technically skilled.

“The technical ability to take all of this data and analyse in real time, creates new opportunities,” she added.

Ms Pope identified that the majority of demand will come in the form of enterprise risk management services; which “aims to manage risks by taking an integrated view of all the various uncertainties that exist across an organisation.”

“Organisations in a risky, uncertain world need a well-rounded hybrid accountant armed with technical competencies as well as strategic, analytic and softer skills in order to enable sustainable business success,” said Ms Pope.

“Prospects for employment success in the future will be greatly enhanced by the ability to understand business problems and craft solutions that address the issues,” Ms Pope concluded.

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