In a world so eager to transcend traditional working habits, digitalization can be considered the norm. As with many other jobs, accounting is paving its own road in this trend. And, no, that doesn’t mean that accounting jobs will be out-of-date. On the contrary, a study finds these jobs are just starting to get more time-efficient and with less room for errors.
This change is due to the growing amount of accounting software and applications that largely subdue manual work. The key skills that will remain in the human workforce are critical thinking and creative problem-solving, meaning that accountants will continue being our trusted advisors.
Plus, with the ever-evolving way of work, new positions seem to be in high demand. Whether someone has a degree in accounting, business, or finance, being an accountant is more attractive than ever. In recent years there have been many developments in accounting, here are some jobs that came out of it.
Recent Developments Accountants Must Know
Whether you’re new to the accounting world, or have been there a long time and are looking to stay, there are things changing with which every accountant should be up-to-date with. While the human factor is a constant, almost everything else around the job keeps changing.
According to Forbes, there’s innovation in the way data is protected and how financial statements are disclosed, as well as the way artificial intelligence is affecting the way the job is done. What these recent developments mean for accountants is learning how to use new tools, understanding new concepts, and generally being open to almost futuristic options.
These developments do not equal a ‘robot-controlled’ era; they simply indicate a world with less paper and more tasks being performed digitally. As a result, accountants save time, resources, and effort.
In today’s world, automation is accounting’s new best friend. It is considerably changing the rhythm of manual practice, by impacting routine tasks and almost eliminating them—consecutively, making the work-day easier.
Any part of the job that involves following an algorithm can be automated by existing tools. Not only that but compliance, too, can be automated at some extent. The accountant still needs an excellent understanding of it, but most key controls are taken on by automation.
Another thing worth mentioning is what some refer to as a symbiotic relationship between accounting and automation—this translates to artificial intelligence (AI) working together with humans in developing the best strategy possible. How this is supposed to work is by mixing AI’s analysis with human creativity— two things in which they respectively excel. This would allow accountants to take on a more advisory role while letting the machines complete the more repetitive tasks.
Transparency and Security
Honesty in accounting has always been important. But, following a waterfall of accounting scandals, the whole honesty expectation has taken a new turn. There were demands for an increase in transparency standards, which would, in turn, give us transparent financial records. This was done as a way for accountants to win back the lost credibility.
Beyond companies reporting their financial statements to the public, there was another step towards the restoration of trust and protection of information, which was the increase in focus towards data security. This, too, was a direct result of scandals including data breaches in the past years.
As a result of this, having strong security practices is more valuable than ever in accounting, as they hold responsibility for very sensitive data.
Data analytics is becoming more and more important to accounting each day. And it doesn’t have only one application in it, either.
While for auditors, analytics play a huge role in how they’re able to achieve continuous auditing and monitoring, for accountants, it’s something else. To get better at the advice they give to certain businesses, accountants can use big data to determine patterns within groups of people. Identifying the behavior of consumers and markets can, in turn, help businesses with investments and profit.
Yes, data usage is important in the accounting world and has been on the rise in the last few years, but for accountants to make use of it, they need to learn new skills and keep up with the technology. Because their data needs to be of quality, and their tools need to be top-notch.
In-Demand Accounting and Finance Positions
Since the change in the technical part of the job, no wonder the job opportunities and needs have experienced their own transformation too. Hiring managers are in a rush to find talents who will bloom in certain positions, and the level of experience isn’t the key deciding factor, either.
Whether it’s young talents or accountants who know the industry backwards, accounting firms are looking for eager-to-learn prospects. Apart from experience, your resume needs to have a good set of soft skills and new-age skills regarding the newest tools in the market. Not only will that result in higher employability, but it would make the job easier for the accountant too.
Here’s a list of the most desirable and in-demand jobs in the accounting market today, along with the salaries that follow them. The salary information was taken from the 2020 Robert Half Salary Guide.
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Chief Financial Officer
A CFO is a senior executive who holds the responsibility of managing all the financial actions of a company. A CFO responds to a CEO and works with senior managers to strategize ways of maintaining the company’s overall success. Basically, a CFO handles everything that has to do with cash flow and financial planning and plays a vital role in the company’s game plan.
Salary of a CFO
CFO in Corporate Accounting: $121,500 – $498,000
CFO in Finance and Accounting: $172,250 – $510,000
An internal auditor is responsible for the oversight of the operating system and making sure that everything is in tune with the laws and regulations. Although it’s not the most high-profile job in accounting, it’s very sought-after in the last years, and it is crucial to the well-being of the company. Part of an internal auditor’s job description is making sure that every department is following proper procedures.
Salary of an Internal Auditor
Chief Audit Executive/Internal Auditor Director: $ 130,000 – $ 290,750
Manager: $99,750 – $162,250
Senior: $77,250 – $ 123,750
1-3 Years: $60,000 – $97,750
Up to 1 Year: $39,500 – $73,750
A business analyst is someone who is responsible for reviewing programs and processes, in order to increase the efficiency of a business operation. They may also have to analyze and communicate data that has to do with business-trends to a management team. Business analysts are crucial to a company because of their constant evaluations and recommendations, which serve to improve the overall decision making of a company.
Salary of a business analyst
Manager: $99,500 – $187,500
Senior: $79,000 – $147,000
1-3 Years: $56,500 – $115,000
Up to 1 Year: $43,000 – $82,250
Everything that has to do with employees’ payments is handled by a payroll manager. This means they are in charge of directing payroll procedures, calculating taxes, identifying payroll liabilities, supervising the payroll team, processing and delivering employee payments, etc. This means they have to take care of everything, from payroll data input to calculating and reviewing any changes in insurance coverage, savings deductions, and any others.
Salary of a payroll manager
Payroll Manager/Supervisor: $61.000 – $130,000
Payroll Coordinator/Administrator: $39,750 – $75,000
Payroll Clerk: $33,250 – $62,000
A controller in accounting is second in command to a CFO. They have responsibility over all accounting activities. A controller’s daily duties are assisting in preparing operating budgets, oversight of financial reporting, and essential payroll tasks. Although, a controller’s responsibilities may vary depending on the size and type of a company. For instance, in a smaller company, a controller may be the same as a CFO and have a bigger number of daily tasks. Whereas, in a bigger business, the responsibilities are distributed to numerous workers.
Salary of a Controller
Corporate Controller: $106,000 – $262,750
Divisional Controller: $101,250 – $224,000
Controller: $94,250 – $211,000
The demand for senior accountants is on a constant high-level. A senior accountant takes the role of leaders for junior accountants, plus they prepare financial statements and help with risk assessments. This position is also great for career development, as a senior accountant can easily work their way up the ladder and become managers. They usually have at least three years of experience and a bachelor’s degree in accounting or finance.
Salary of a Senior Accountant
Senior accountant: $66,000 – $ 120,750
A financial analyst is, in essence, an accountant who follows past and current trends, to set a business goal that will become reality in the future. A financial analyst’s duties include reviewing financial decisions based on current trends, business objectives, and the possibility of investment options. They also tend to use the accountant’s data to help make suggestions about the business.
Salary of a Financial Analyst
Director: $109,500 – $208,250
Manager: $87,750 – $167,750
Senior: $70,000 – $136,000
1-3 Years: $57,000 – $107,250
Up to 1 Year: $44,000 – $82,250
Staff accountants are in charge of the general tasks that include budget preparation, financial reporting, and general bookkeeping for a company. They typically answer to controllers. Staff accountant is the most in-demand position in the accounting job market in 2020. Hiring managers are constantly looking out for new talents and are developing new strategies to help their employees get the necessary training for career advancement.
Salary of a Staff Accountant
Manager: $79,000 – $147,000
Senior: $66,000 – $120,750
1-3 Years: $50,750 – $100,000
Up to 1 Year: $48,5000
Anti-Money Laundering Specialist
‘Money laundering’ is one of the new-eras top problems. Whether it’s banking, politics, or online marketplaces, there are some questionable procedures involving money being done. Money laundering is the process of putting ‘dirt money’ in the financial system and moving it around until it eventually seems ‘clean’.
To get the best compensation out of this job, an account would have to hold an anti-money laundering specialist certification, which is offered by the anti-money laundering trade association (ACAMS). The requirements for getting the job are having knowledge in forensic accounting, risk management, and statistical data mining.
Salary of an AML
Anti-Money Laundering Specialist: $68,500 – $131,750
With the changing duties and demands in the accounting industry, come inevitable transformations in how the job is done and what it takes to land the job. From recent developments reconstructing our view on automation, transparency, and data analysis, to which positions are most needed, the accountancy world in 2020 is not the same as it was ten years ago.
An understanding of recent changes helps an accountant know what they should go after, and what they should learn—tools to familiarize with, job descriptions, and salaries. There are so many options to choose from, that any accountant can find something tailored just for them.