Megan Weis, VP & General Manager – FAO Services, Personiv was invited as a guest for a podcast on outsourcing and the shortage of accountants on the Software & Technology podcast by MarketScale. The shortage of accountants in the market has been the talk of the town for quite some time now. Be it the manufacturing, IT, construction or any other industry, there have been serious scarcity of reliable and experienced accountant professionals. Megan has more than 20 years of industry experience in accounting and finance. She shares her observations regarding the shortage of accounting professionals and clarifies why it’s such a problem for today’s CFOs.
Why the Shortage of Accounting Professionals in the Market
There are various reasons for the shortage of accountants faced recently in the market from supply, an aging workforce and the need for accounting departments to do more. Take for example, the supply of talent available. Baby boomers are retiring in droves and taking with them the specialized talent they have acquired over a 40-year career. In fact, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants estimates that 75 percent of all current CPAs will retire in the next 15 years. Additionally, millennials are entering the workforce and few of them are choosing accounting as their profession. Most are no longer satisfied with the regular day-to-day job. They seek a reliable and attractive career and accountancy is often seen as less engaging than others. For organizations to ensure accountancy talent is retained they need to transform a boring workplace into a fun one.
Expectations of the Modern Accountant Professional
Gone are the days when a professional could stick to a single job and continue doing that for years. The modern world demands multitasking and knowledge sharing. With new financial regulations coming on board often, traditional accounting careers are still in high demand. However, accounting careers with a new type of forward-looking, strategic advisor role are emerging out as well. Accountants are expected to be more creative, strategic, and innovative apart from the regular skills. Modern organizations are more inclined towards an accountant with a knack of looking into the future and driving financial results rather than someone only interesting in regular day-today work.
The Advent of Automation - A Cause for the Shortage of Accountants
It is true that automation and machine learning has taken charge of many responsibilities that was previously expected from an accounting professional. There is a notion among accountants that the growth of automation might jeopardize their job which is not a fact. Robots might be helpful to accountants, but they will never be able to replace a human. Learn more about the role of automation, how to overcome the talent shortage and how outsourcing fits into the picture by visiting MarketScale here.
For more details on how humans and automation work together for top accounting efficiency, contact us to discuss our FAO program.