The Future of Finance: Forward Looking Accounting in 2022

February 28, 2022 Lydia Adams

glasses on calendar next to a cup of coffee on a table with a phone and other decorations

forward-looking accounting infographic

It’s 2022, and with last year finally behind us we’ve outlined a few trends to keep on your radar. The past two years have offered up a lot of change—from the ongoing pandemic and remote work to a rise in automation and outsourcing. Check out Personiv’s top 6 forward-looking accounting trends to watch in this year’s Market View.

1. The Accounting Talent Shortage Will Hit New Highs

The Great Resignation is upon us, and the accounting and finance industry is not immune to this shift. Thanks to the pandemic and a recent uptick in baby boomer retirees, the accountant role has become hard to fill. The truth is, there’s no going back to pre-Covid days. Remote work has proven successful for professionals across every team, in every industry and it’s not going away any time soon. Moreover, flexible work arrangements are attracting a new wave of talent – millennials – who are demanding a better work-life balance.

2. Outsourcing Will Continue to Grow in Popularity

The need to stay local for hiring talent has become a thing of the past. With a world now connected through digital resources and tools, it’s easy to find talent abroad. And with the option to work remotely, employers are more apt to outsource certain functions to a third party for a fraction of the cost. This new way of hiring combined with a talent deficit will put the spotlight on outsourcing this year and beyond.

3. Automation and AI Will Continue to Transform Accounting - Forward-Looking Technology

Don’t think of automation as the replacement for your team, but more as an added bonus. With less dependence on low-impact tasks, companies can make more informed decisions faster and without the inevitable stress. But what happens when automation gets an upgrade? That’s exactly what we expect to see in 2022 with the rise of more efficient Artificial Intelligence, ready to redirect accounting focus toward performing high-impact tasks that add strategic value to the organization.

4. Soft Skills Increase in Importance - Forward-Looking Finance

Sure, knowing how to crunch numbers and analyze data is important, but do your accountants know how to communicate in way that makes sense? Developing your soft skills not only supports interdepartmental relationships, they also determine your success working with clients, vendors and business partners. In fact, a Deloitte survey showed that soft skill-intensive occupations will account for two-thirds of all jobs by 2030.

5. Data-Driven Decision Making Will Be More Important Than Ever

Gone are the days where gut feelings rule the roost. And businesses that make time to collect data can make smart investment decisions, including forecasting for the upcoming years. If you think that there’s just no time to implement a data-first approach, think again. The ability to plan futuristically is a competitive advantage in today’s market, and an essential skill that will drive data-driven decisions that win in 2022.  

6. Accounting Will Move Away from Backward Looking – and Toward Forward Thinking

A decade ago, the notion of thinking strategically in accounting was a foreign concept. And as a CFO or accounting executive, you are no longer an individual contributor – you have the ability to change your company’s growth trajectory. Businesses need accounting professionals who can use numbers to increase value and growth. A few ways to adopt a progressive mindset is by moving to the cloud, automating what you can and outsourcing lower-level processes to overseas talent.

For more information about what’s going on with CFOs right now, and in the future, check out our podcast, CFO Weekly, hosted by Personiv’s Megan Weis, wherever you get your podcasts.

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