New Accountant Magazine feature Cover Story explores how the industry has changed how to adapt

CHICAGO, IL, October 04, 2022 /24-7PressRelease/ — The feature Cover Story of New Accountant is entitled “Accounting in the Digital Age“. This insightful piece is written by Michael F. Peters, PhD, Chair, Accounting & Information Systems and Alvin A. Clay, Professor of Accounting, Villanova School of Business.

The article discusses key drivers in the sweeping change that the field of accounting, along with many other industries, has undergone in the past two years. The shift to stay-at-home, remote and hybrid work environments has accelerated and advanced technology. The three areas in which the pandemic fundamentally changed accounting is:
1) the use of technology for process automation
2) the use of data to gain further insights, and
3) the use of technology to create newer, better products and services.

Companies are therefore, shifting strategies and training employees to provide more current and necessary added value. The author deep dives into these three areas further.

The introduction of artificial intelligence (AI) and robotic process automation (RPA) handle the cumbersome, mundane tasks that used to take accountants days to do, which means this allow professionals to focus on more complicated tasks that require judgment, nuance, and human interpretation. Skill sets that were sufficient in the past are now becoming obsolete, forcing accountants to use more complex competencies to add value to their organization.

The term “Big Data” has been coined to describe the sheer amount of data available now through the help of technology. Accountants not only have to have skills to extract but also to interpret and communicate what that data means. Organizations are focused on hiring individuals who can effectively possess skills like analyzing fraud, financial risk implications, leverage insights to lead company strategy and serve as data stewards who preserve the accountability of the firm via effective communication.

Technology advancements and improved data solutions have contributed to a more decentralized and cross-functional team approach to developing new products and services. Now, companies allocate resources to areas that will increase overall profitability. Accounting and corporate finance personnel help determine how costs for these new products and services can be allocated and determine the financial benefits and returns associated with these new solutions for strategic investments and portfolio planning. Tax professionals can also provide appropriate risk assessments and guidance.

At VSB, we continually enhance our accounting programs in response to industry trends such as these.

The most in-demand skills now are adaptability and change management, collaboration and teamwork, communication, critical and independent thinking and problem solving.

The graduate programs at Villanova School of Business (VSB) are continuously enhancing accounting offerings in response to these trends. The Master of Accounting with Data Analytics (MAC) and Master of Business Taxation with Data Analytics (MBT) programs have been adapted to provide students with the higher-level skill sets currently being sought out by employers in the accounting industry. VSB advocates a longer-term view for students, taking into accounting industry changes, as the digitation of accounting will only become more widespread.

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Published since 1985, New Accountant is a professional print and digital publication edited for college accounting students and accounting professionals to prepare for a career in accounting, auditing and industry. For more information, please visit; email [email protected]

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