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FinTech transformations have moved the needle on global digitalisation, causing more and more companies to bring their digitalisation efforts into full gear. What happens to the accountants who have been trained using the traditional software or technology or those who simply refuse to explore new tech? Ask any accountants about their technology and soft skills and chances are they might answer that they do not have enough of that flair.
The inability to adapt in the face of emerging FinTech will likely affect them in climbing the corporate ladder within the next decade and beyond. Every accountant needs to be prepared for this tough challenge in the accounting sector as the FinTech transformation does not seem to be slowing down any time soon.
FinTech’s rise is not confined just to banking services – it covers a wide swathe from lending and financial advice to foreign exchange and payments. Additionally, it now includes different sectors and industries such as education, fundraising, insurance, investments and risk management etc. Here is why acquiring FinTech skills can further empower your professional value if you work in these sectors that have been impacted by this digitalisation.
The fear of advancements of any kind including technology is a tale as old as time. Many accountants who still find themselves skeptical of innovation are often held back by their fear of new technology. That is why when FinTech sped forward in its journey, and as new tools augmented the accounting profession and streamlined certain tasks, accountants had to choose to take on expanded, decision making roles besides the cumbersome number crunching or exit the line.
They had to embrace technology but luckily, many took advantage of what it could offer them and were continuously learning about the benefits of technology – improving advisory services, saving time, increasing client retention, and encouraging value pricing. With their previously applied tried and tested processes; they are now additionally embracing efficiency, technology and automation.
Thus, professional accountants will be able to provide valuable insights and assist the senior management in making informed decisions that are based on data, analysis and cross functional metrics, once they have received the knowledge and skills they need to be successful in the digitalisation journey – this further validates their existence in the company.
PwC’s Global Fintech Report 2019 indicates that 80% of technology, media and telecommunications companies and 75% of financial services organisations are creating jobs related to fintech, yet 42% of companies in each group are struggling to fill these roles.
To qualify as the preferred accountant for emerging FinTech companies in the 21st century, professional accountants will need to be prepared to embrace and adopt emerging technologies such as cloud accounting software and associated add-ons that are slowly replacing historic skills such as bookkeeping and data entry.
These technologies can put professional accountants at the forefront of other recognised qualified accountants who have yet to be acquainted with such an arsenal of technologies. It is no surprise that the leaders of emerging FinTech companies will reach out to these professionals and extend their trust to them.
In general, FinTech can apply to any innovation in how people transact business. Hence an ongoing new breed of tech-savvy, data-enabled and commercially astute accountants – especially those who have a flair for technology and soft skills which enable them to communicate the underlying commercial impact of their work – are a gem in this case.
Every professional accountant’s career will be intrinsically linked to FinTech in the future of the accounting sector. It is up to every professional accountant to invest in their own digital expertise quotient and place greater emphasis on technology.
When done correctly, the newly acquired knowledge and skills can empower them to streamline workflows and apply new layers of revelation to their work besides nurturing their awareness and application of existing and emerging digital technologies that lie ahead.
Why delay this when you can kickstart your career with ACCA’s Business and Technology paper? This paper gives a solid introduction to the world of technology powered business while also retaining the traditional business concepts. Alternatively, you could also explore ACCA’s Professional Certificate in FinTech for Finance and Business Leaders. The quicker you adapt to the current business world, the better positioned you are in this ever growing transformative, technology powered finance function!