The integration of advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML) and cloud computing is changing the way accounting firms operate.
This technological shift not only increases efficiency and accuracy in accounting tasks, but also plays a critical role in attracting and retaining talent. This shift towards a more technologically advanced environment appeals to a new generation of accountants who are tech-savvy and eager to work in a dynamic, innovative environment.
As Chris Oxborough, cloud transformation leader for Risk at PwC UK, points out: “Having the right people in place is just as important to overcoming barriers.”
But integrating technology without having the right people also poses risks in many cases. About 42% of accounting professionals feel overwhelmed by the rapid pace of technological change. These statistics underscore the need for companies to provide appropriate training and support as they integrate new technologies into their operations.
It is therefore paramount to ensure that companies have the right mix of skills within their ranks.
Where does technology impact talent?
According to a Deloitte report, nearly 90% of the world’s data was generated over the past two years, fueling a transformation in the workplace. This transformation is underlined by the integration of artificial intelligence, cognitive computing and robotics, which have shifted the focus from manual, repetitive tasks to more strategic and value-creating activities.
Ernst & Young’s survey reinforces this trend, revealing that around 75% of CFOs and managers believe AI will enable accountants to concentrate on high-value tasks, marking a significant departure from traditional accountancy roles focused on strategy, growth opportunities and innovation. .
Implementing technology that automates routine accounting tasks, such as data entry or basic number crunching, can make work more strategic and analytical. This shift may attract professionals interested in more complex, high-value aspects of accounting. Additionally, companies that showcase their use of advanced accounting software, cloud computing and data analytics tools can attract talent interested in working in a technologically advanced environment.
Studies show that more than half of large and medium-sized accounting firms use cloud-based accounting software, with 33% of small practices being early adopters. Almost 80% plan to continue or start investing in it. Cloud-based systems are critical to remote work policies and create more efficient workflows
However, the accounting profession – not always known for being a quick adopter – may risk being excluded from the developing talent pool if they do not choose to jump on the technology bandwagon. By leveraging technology, companies can expand their search globally and access a wider talent pool that can offer different perspectives and skills.
Is hybrid work a factor?
The audit industry, especially after the COVID-19 pandemic, has seen a significant shift towards remote work. Offering the technology for secure remote access to accounting systems and customer data can be a big draw for professionals seeking flexibility and work-life balance.
In a global survey, 87% of respondents expressed their preference to work remotely at least one day in the future. In addition, 88% of professionals in the field want a better work-life balance and 71% are seeking more help from their organizations to manage mental health, underscoring the importance of technology in facilitating flexible working arrangements.
The influence of technology on recruitment strategies
Leading accounting firms are also leveraging technology to improve their recruitment approach. Accountants are known for precision and efficiency; Using advanced applicant tracking systems and AI-powered screening tools can help companies identify candidates with the right skills and qualifications more effectively. For example, AI can be programmed to recognize specific accounting certifications or experience with certain accounting software.
Companies can also better understand their talent trends. Using data analytics to understand hiring trends, employee satisfaction and reasons for turnover in accounting roles can help companies refine their recruiting strategies and improve retention. “[Firms] need to evaluate their current and future knowledge-based infrastructure considerations to use generative AI tools, and design and build the large language model to enable the system,” noted an EY report.
There is also the argument for using technology to build a stronger online knowledge. A robust online presence on platforms such as LinkedIn, industry-specific forums and social media can help accounting firms showcase their culture, successes and technological advancements. Engaging content on industry insights, technology in accounting and career opportunities can attract talent.
Companies that recognize and adapt to these technological shifts will be better positioned to attract the best professionals and offer them not just a job, but a dynamic, innovative and fulfilling career path. As the industry continues to evolve, the companies that will thrive are those that see technology as an integral part of their talent strategy.