Now that we’ve taken a look at the impact technology will continue to have on finance, let’s take a look at the bigger picture for the future of financial and accounting services:
The Human Touch Will Remain Pivotal to Successful Business Relationships
While all industries are evolving because of technology, it is common for clients to become frustrated by automation devoid of human interaction. A growing trend among start ups is the focus on complementing technology with human expertise to guide clients through business decisions. Critical thinking skills, creativity, and EQ will always keep humans relevant in an increasingly computer-oriented world. The most important skill we should all work to develop is the ability to adapt to constantly changing work environments and to think critically, creatively, and strategically.
Continuing Education is Key
Since technology will require financial and accounting services employees to constantly learn new applications and skills, it will become even more essential for workplaces to provide appropriate training and professional development. Just 38% of finance and accounting employees say their company encourages continuing education and career training, even though they are overwhelmingly excited to learn the necessary skills to adapt their work practices. Websites such as Alison.com, Lynda.com, and YouTube Edu make it possible to learn new skills from the comfort of any computer.
Workplace Diversity will Increase
There are currently more women than men working in finance roles overall, however the most highly paid roles (including executive roles) tend to be male-dominated. As you've surely read, an important and growing trend among businesses is the emphasis on diverse workforces, something we have written quite a bit about here at amge+. In order to attract top talent and work toward gender parity in the sector, companies hiring for professional and highly compensated roles can make themselves more attractive to female employees. Making diversity and inclusiveness part of the employer brand, creating succession structures that allow women to thrive, and providing flexibility to employees’ working lives are all ways for employers to ensure their finance and accounting roles are filled by diverse and highly qualified individuals.
Remote Employees will be More Prevalent
If most work can be done on computers, that means it can be done from anywhere in the world, making it easier for companies to offer flexibility to their teams or to offshore certain roles. Additionally, the ability to work remotely serves as an opportunity to employ more Australians - currently, only 15 per cent of financial and accounting services employees live outside of capital cities. We can also expect to see Australian companies exporting some financial functions to China, as the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA), which was signed in June, will provide access to China’s financial and accounting services market and make transactions with Chinese firms much simpler.
While automation and offshoring could potentially displace some financial services jobs, our financial and accounting services workforce is sure to stay busy for the coming decades. The unchanging need for human expertise, guidance, and the development of relationships will continue to ensure this. Keep yourself and your team on the cutting edge by advancing your skills, developing or maintaining a winning company culture, and allowing or advocating for flexible work schedules to keep your team at the top of their game.