COVID Is Making Accounting’s ‘Unthinkable’ a Priority

A year ago, the accounting and business technology firm Sage confirmed what accountants felt was happening: the nature of the profession was transforming.

Driven by clients, regulatory demands, generational change and the marketplace, accounting was changing, said Sage’s Practice of Now report, from a transactional profession to one focused on partnership and consultancy.

What no one could have foreseen was a pandemic that would force upon firms some of the key changes detailed in the report.

Now, the leader of an accounting and management advisory firm and the CEO of a management technology company have teamed up to describe what a post-COVID accounting practice will look like. Writing in Accounting Today, Steve Templeton and Robert Wells say that what firm leaders “originally thought was unthinkable has made its way onto the partner priority list.”

“Remote workers are here to stay,” they declare. With workers permanently or occasionally working from home, it will trigger a cascade of changes – if it hasn’t already.

Workers will convert the savings in commute time to productive hours. Offices will shrink, while investment in technology will grow. Emerging firm leaders will be those with the technical know-how to match their accounting skills.

Remote working will prompt a rethinking of physical offices. With fewer people in the office, firms could adopt a “hoteling” approach where workspaces are not permanently assigned. Individual offices and cubicles will downsize, saving on space rent and equipment. At the same time, conference rooms will be enlarged for the occasional “all hands” and in-person client meetings.

Technology is front and center in the authors’ discussion, as it is technology that made possible remote work and opened the door to the culture change griping the profession.

Progressive firm leaders will embrace cloud technology and recognize that “data is the new currency,“ the authors insist. “Firms that embrace change will gain control over data and make better, more informed decisions.”

Those that pull together their scattered data “will reduce the need for multiple disparate technology systems.”

Technology to automate routine tasks will reduce errors and improve efficiency, say Templeton and Wells. Smart bots and “digital touchpoints” will give the firm a 24/7 workforce.

As the Practice of Now survey observed in a different context, grasping the cultural changes will be essential for a firm to thrive in the post-COVID economy.

“We need a renewed focus on our culture, our people and their capabilities,” Templeton and Wells say. Agility and adaptability must be baked into the culture to be ready for the next crisis, the next challenge and the competition.

“To survive in this new economy, firm leaders must work with the speed and agility necessary to advance business transformation post-crisis.”

Image by Wynn Pointaux

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Emily Gelman
General Interest Green Key News Professional Support Worklife

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Emily Gelman

Green Key Unlocked: Why It Pays to be a Paralegal
Accounting + Finance Financial Services General Interest Green Key News Legal Support Worklife

Green Key Unlocked: Why It Pays to be a Paralegal

Perks of a Hybrid Work Schedule
General Interest Green Key News Worklife

Perks of a Hybrid Work Schedule

Green Key Announces New Partners and Principals
Accounting + Finance Architecture + Engineering Financial Services General Interest Green Key News Healthcare Human Resources Information Technology Leadership + Management Pharma Professional Support Worklife

Green Key Announces New Partners and Principals

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Todd Bernard
Accounting + Finance General Interest Green Key News Human Resources Leadership + Management Worklife

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Todd Bernard

Employee Benefits for a Supportive Workplace
General Interest Green Key News Worklife

Employee Benefits for a Supportive Workplace

Forbes Names Green Key on America’s Best Temp Staffing Firms 2021
Green Key News

Forbes Names Green Key on America’s Best Temp Staffing Firms 2021

SIA Names Green Key Resources among Largest Staffing Firms in the US
Green Key News

SIA Names Green Key Resources among Largest Staffing Firms in the US

Wrapped Up: 2021 Corporate Trends
General Interest Green Key News Worklife

Wrapped Up: 2021 Corporate Trends

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Kelsey Kirk
General Interest Green Key News Professional Support Worklife

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Kelsey Kirk

Advantages of the “Stay Interview”
General Interest Green Key News Worklife

Advantages of the “Stay Interview”

Green Key Unlocked: What’s New in Architecture, Engineering, & Construction
Architecture + Engineering General Interest Green Key News Worklife

Green Key Unlocked: What’s New in Architecture, Engineering, & Construction

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Lisa Figuccio
Accounting + Finance General Interest Green Key News Worklife

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Lisa Figuccio

Tips for Writing Job Descriptions
General Interest Green Key News Worklife

Tips for Writing Job Descriptions

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Alexa Perrone
Accounting + Finance General Interest Green Key News Worklife

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Alexa Perrone

Tips for Employee Retention
General Interest

Tips for Employee Retention

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Brooke Stemen
General Interest Green Key News Worklife

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Brooke Stemen

Green Key Unlocked: The Value of the MBA
Accounting + Finance Financial Services General Interest Green Key News Marketing Technology Worklife

Green Key Unlocked: The Value of the MBA

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Amy Raymond
General Interest Green Key News Professional Support Worklife

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Amy Raymond

How to Tailor Your LinkedIn Profile for the Jobs You Want
General Interest Green Key News Worklife

How to Tailor Your LinkedIn Profile for the Jobs You Want

Latest Blog Posts
View All Posts
#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Emily Gelman

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Emily Gelman

Today we catch up with Emily Gelman, Senior Recruiter on the Professional Support team at Green Key. Gelman joined the...
Read More
Green Key Unlocked: Why It Pays to be a Paralegal

Green Key Unlocked: Why It Pays to be a Paralegal

Paralegals are not only imperative to the industry, but recently in high demand. Due to law firms encouraging their entry...
Read More
Perks of a Hybrid Work Schedule

Perks of a Hybrid Work Schedule

The biggest perk of working hybrid is its flexibility. Allowing employees to choose when they come in grants them autonomy...
Read More