The Future of the Global Accounting Industry

In common with many industries, accountancy has been greatly affected by the digital revolution over the last few decades and this trend is set to continue for the foreseeable future. However, it is not the only factor to take into consideration when trying to predict the future of accounting around the world, as we discuss in this article.

What does the future of accounting look like today?

We are already well into 2023 and as the half-year approaches, many industry watchers’ thoughts will already start to turn to 2024 and what we can expect in the world of accounting over the course of next year. For the best perspective on the future of accounting, we invite you to join us as we consider what has already happened this year, along with what we expect to occur over the next 12-20 months.

So far in 2023

From what we have seen in 2023 so far, the following established trends are likely to persist for some time to come:

  • Remote Working – The trend of working from home is not, of course, confined to those in accountancy roles. Neither is it confined to any particular country. In the USA, as just one example, 42% of the labour force across all industries now works from home on a full-time basis. Of these workers, 98% have expressed a desire to continue working from home. In other countries, a similar story is unfolding with a large percentage of the workforce currently working from home and the majority of these workers wanting to continue doing so in the future.Many accountancy roles fit perfectly into the remote working model of course, and accountants across the world have not hesitated to take advantage of this fact. We are seeing the majority of firms offering 2 to 3 days per week working from home as an option. Whatever your specific position and level of seniority, you will almost certainly be able to spend a portion of every week working from home in the coming years.
  • Increase in More Advisory Roles – We have already witnessed an increase in the demand for accountants who are willing and able to share their advice and opinions rather than simply keep records and we expect this trend to continue throughout the rest of this year and next. The future of accounting is going to involve a lot more requests for concrete advice as far as many of us are concerned. Accountants who can help businesses become more profitable by providing timely advice are likely to be in demand for many years to come: this is not, in our opinion, a short-term trend.

These two trends both deliver a similar message that accountants across the globe should heed: if you wish to excel in the future and be able to land the most lucrative accounting jobs, you need to work on your communication skills. Now let’s move on to look at a couple of the trends we feel are likely to emerge or take centre stage in the second half of the year and in 2024.

The rest of 2023 and beyond

Whilst it is quite difficult to predict emerging accountancy trends with a high degree of accuracy, there are a couple of areas we feel it is worth paying attention to over the next year or so:

  • Mobile Accounting – In the area of personal finance, we have had mobile accounting with us for some time now, primarily in the form of online banking applications and financial trading software. We are beginning to see some signs that a similar revolution could sweep the world of corporate accountancy in the coming months and years. Some firms already offer fledgling mobile services but nothing on a scale that would qualify as a legitimate new trend yet. Over the rest of 2023 and into 2024, we expect this situation to start changing.
    Mobile accounting for commercial organisations needn’t involve the wholesale exposure of corporate accounting records via an Internet connection and is unlikely to do so for the foreseeable future. With security risks in mind, we see the growth in corporate mobile accounting being service led. A healthy demand for the ability to access advice and expert opinion at the press of a button is what will fuel this particular trend over the next few years.
    If you would like to position yourself for a potential growth in mobile accountancy services over the coming months and years, we recommend investing in digital technology training and making sure that you stay up to date with all the latest developments in the fields of mobile communications and mobile/online security. Of course, most of the growth behind this trend will be driven by accountancy firms rather than corporate accountants but all industry participants will feel the winds of change it brings, to a greater or lesser degree.
  • Big Data Analysis – Big Data has already had a tremendous impact on industries as diverse as logistics and healthcare, and this impact is only set to increase in the near future. Accountancy will not be immune to the effects of Big Data, quite the opposite in fact. In our opinion, Big Data analysis will become one of the fastest-growing trends over the rest of the decade, powered predominantly by an interest in automated decision-making and the ability to enjoy an enhanced understanding of what affects the financials of a major corporation over time. If somebody were to ask, “What does the future of accounting look like over the next 5-15 years?”, we would definitely place Big Data analysis at the top of any answer that we prepared.A recent survey by ACCA and IMA reported that 62% of companies around the world believe Big Data will be hugely important to their futures and while we cannot class Big Data as a brand new trend in accountancy, the shift in focus to Big Data analysis we are currently predicting is going to take it to another level completely for accountants in all types of positions.If your interest in the future of accounting is professional, please don’t hesitate to call and speak to us about our global accountancy recruitment services.