The global health crisis has truly impacted all industries, with many companies closing down or transitioning to remote work. If there's anything that this pandemic has highlighted, it’s that all professionals, including CPAs, need digital upskilling to keep up with modern technology and the evolving workforce.
With these skills, CPAs can better service their clients and organizations. Digital transformation has long been a goal of many industries — and the finance and accounting sector can benefit the most from adopting the latest tech trends. As most CPAs realize, traditional and manual processes can be easily automated with the right automation and machine learning software.
Technology will eventually change the role of CPAs. While most accountants today are focused on adapting their expertise to serve e-commerce and supply chain technologies, CPAs also need to stay competitive and must learn how to leverage advanced technologies — from blockchain to artificial intelligence (AI).
Amid the pandemic, CPAs also needed to familiarize themselves with remote working tools to boost their productivity and allow them to better connect with clients and colleagues. These apps might seem simple on the surface but being tech-savvy about their functions can give CPAs an edge and streamline their workflow.
So, how can CPAs improve their technology skills? Here are four tips to get started:
- Make use of updated training programs. Accounting firms can do their part to ensure their teams are up to date on the latest industry skills and trends by constantly updating their training programs.
- Get hands-on with technology. It’s important to go beyond the knowledge-transfer model of typical accounting classes. CPAs should have opportunities to practice with the latest technology. Apart from acquiring new skills, CPAs should also have ample coaching.
- Pursue an online master’s degree in accounting. For solo CPAs or those who'd rather learn on their own time and at their own pace, taking an online master’s degree in accounting is one of the best ways to digitally upskill. Many programs now have a very modern approach to accounting — touching on business strategies, data analytics and even communications. Online schools recognize that today's accounting landscape is continually changing, so you can expect that they'll provide you with industry-relevant accounting education that will prepare you for current and future challenges in the field.
- Volunteer on technology-based projects. To further hone your tech skills, volunteering on technology-based projects will give you a chance to work with other industry experts.
Moreover, having a master’s degree in accounting and improving your technology skills can help you land in-demand and high-paying roles as a director, partner, budget analyst, financial advisor or financial manager.