As technology continues to change and evolve, there is an underlying fear that machines in the future will replace many of the jobs that exist today. Machine learning is a branch of artificial intelligence and is the idea that systems can learn from data and identify patterns to make decisions without human intervention. Though this definition states that machines will no longer need "human intervention," the reality is that machine learning can reduce costs and save time in professions such as accounting. Machine learning is not something to fear but something to embrace, as careers like accounting continue to evolve as technology advances.
Forbes states that "while automated and cognitive technologies like artificial intelligence, robotics processing, and predictive analytics will assume a growing portion of the rote manual work accountants perform, we're a long way from a day when robots analyze data with a logic structure similar to how human beings draw conclusions." Therefore, it's an exciting time to pursue a career as an accountant and use technology to your benefit, drawing impactful financial insights that will benefit any organization.
How Is Technology Changing the Accounting Profession?
If you are considering entering the field of accounting today, you have to understand the impact of technology on the accounting business. By learning how you can use these technological developments to your advantage, you will stand out in the accounting industry.
Accountants will be able to deliver more value to their clients as innovation continues to change this field. Here are a few ways technology is already evolving and accelerating accounting tasks and processes:
Auditing: By digitizing the auditing process, accountants will be able to improve the efficiency and accuracy of audits and easily search for the files they need.
Expense management: It can be a time-consuming process to review and approve company expenses while also ensuring their compliance with your organization. Machines can read these receipts and alert you when a possible infraction has occurred.
Monthly/quarterly close: It can be stressful as the month or the quarter comes to a close, and businesses or individuals are relying on you for financial insight. Machines can help you expedite this process and deliver the numbers to your clients faster while providing you with more accurate insights.
Accountants will be able to rely on the cloud, automation, blockchain, and machine learning technology to improve their speed, accuracy, and the quality of the financial insights that they deliver. An online master's program in accounting is an excellent option after you complete a bachelor's degree as these flexible programs prepare you to master top-rated technology in the space. It's essential to understand and take advantage of these technological advancements in accounting today to future-proof your career.
What Are the Job Duties of an Accountant?
Accountants are in charge of inspecting or keeping financial records and require a person who is organized and attentive to detail. Accountants also need to be personable as they are interacting with clients in their day-to-day, needing to communicate effectively and provide financial insights with confidence. There are different types of accountants depending on the organizations or individuals they work for with job duties that vary including:
Public accountants: They prepare taxes for individuals, perform audits, and provide consulting services for corporations, nonprofit organizations, and governments.
Internal accountants: They create processes to eliminate financial waste and fraud.
Management accountants: They record and analyze financial information.
Government accountants: They maintain records of government agencies and audit private companies or individuals whose activities are under government regulation or taxation.
No matter the organization or individual you choose to work for, you have a great responsibility as an accountant to manage and record financial information which requires enormous trust and confidence.
What Is the Demand for Accountants Today?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the growth of accounting is related to the health of the economy. As the economy continues to grow and change, companies and individuals will continue to rely on accountants to prepare and examine their financial records. The job trajectory of accountants is projected to grow by 6% from 2018 to 2028. However, because of the current demand for accountants, you can make a good living in this profession with a median annual wage of $70,500.
What Is the Educational Path to Becoming an Accountant?
To become an accountant, you have to set out on the right educational path to ensure that you have the right skill-set to excel in any organization or small business. To get started, you have to:
- Earn a bachelor's degree in accounting.
- Many employers look for accountants that have a master's degree in accounting. A master's program allows you to get hands-on experience and understand the evolving regulatory, financial, and strategic challenges you will face. You can even complete your accounting masters online so that you have flexibility with your coursework.
- You can take the certified public accountant exam (CPA), which is a four-part exam issued by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.
- As the accounting field is continually changing, to keep your CPA license, you have to continue your professional education every year.
The path to becoming an accountant requires continued learning and upgrading your skill-set yearly. You have to take advantage of the latest tools and resources available to you so that you can perform at the highest level for your clients.
Considering Suffolk University
Suffolk University's AACSB-accredited Master of Science in Accounting (MSA) program provides you access to industry-informed coursework and prepares you for a successful career in financial services. You can learn from industry leaders and stand out in the job market with a master's degree fully dedicated to accounting. You must find a master's program that compliments and equips you with skills for professional distinction. In our program, you learn advanced accounting concepts that will broaden your thinking to implement forward-looking accounting concepts, practices, policies, and technologies. Other benefits of our program include:
- Emerging prepared for the CPA and CMA exams;
- Master top-rated technology with CPA exam software integrated into your courses;
- Connecting with faculty and peers to form a network of successful industry leaders;
- Rated as one of the "Best Business Schools" by the Princeton Review in 2019; and
- 100% online coursework.
If our Online Masters in Accounting program interests you, feel free to chat with one of our knowledgeable advisors. Our advisors are happy to answer any questions you might have about our online masters in accounting program. Accountants are in demand, and the right program can equip you with the skills and the experience you need to become a successful accountant in a growing industry today.