au iconAU



New report outlines accounting employment future

Accounting firms that can show purpose and meaning as a result of their work will be able to attract a new wave of talent and ride out the artificial intelligence (AI) transformation, according to a new report.

New report outlines accounting employment future
smsfadviser logo

HR think-tank Reventure’s latest Industry Insight report found that professional services such as accounting, legal, and management services were highly likely to be impacted by increased AI presence.

The report also found that out of 1,001 Australian workers surveyed, 77 per cent were looking for purpose and meaning in their employment.

Reventure managing director and author of the report Dr Lindsay McMillan, believes leaders and employers need to be able to articulate the way an employee’s role contributes to the common purpose of the firm.

“It is a great detriment for both organisation and employee if a worker thinks their job has no purpose or meaning, and it is up to business leaders to address the issue,” Dr McMillan said.

“It is also likely that if employees don’t have purpose and meaning in their work, the AI revolution will impact them the hardest.

“But many of the jobs thought of as unimportant in professional services have an important function in the organisational machine, leaders simply have to communicate that importance,” he added.

“Sometimes it can be as easy as making the connection to an employee with their everyday tasks and how it contributes to the overall goals of the organisation.”

The report also highlighted that employees were looking for roles that serve external beneficiaries and “contribute to the common good”.

Conversely, in a 2013 World Economic Forum study, 5,000 millennials across 18 countries said that the number one priority of businesses should be “to improve society”.

Institute of Public Accountants chief executive Andrew Conway believes accountants play a key role in providing social value to the small business clients they serve, and should capitalise on that aspect in marketing to the future generation.

“Here's an opportunity for the profession to point to the work that they do and say, 'You can't get more social value than supporting a person in their hour of need from an anxiety or stress perspective when to them, the world that they attempted to build for themselves and their family is at risk,” said Mr Conway.

“When an accountant says, ‘Don't worry I've got it under control for you, we'll sort this out’, it has a profound impact.”

Subscribe to Public Accountant

Receive the latest news, opinion and features directly to your inbox