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 Reilly Hickey
General Interest Green Key News Human Resources Professional Support Worklife

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Reilly Hickey

Green Key Unlocked: Keys to Success in Agency Recruiting
General Interest Green Key News Worklife

Green Key Unlocked: Keys to Success in Agency Recruiting

Resume Tricks for 2022
General Interest Green Key News Worklife

Resume Tricks for 2022

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Kornelia Klukowska
Accounting + Finance General Interest Green Key News Worklife

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Kornelia Klukowska

When to Say Goodbye to a Candidate
General Interest Green Key News Worklife

When to Say Goodbye to a Candidate

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Allison Vogt
General Interest Green Key News Worklife

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Allison Vogt

Green Key Unlocked: The Growth of Professional Support
General Interest Green Key News Professional Support Worklife

Green Key Unlocked: The Growth of Professional Support

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Brittany Leader
General Interest Green Key News Healthcare Worklife

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Brittany Leader

Green Key Unlocked: FAQs of Working with a Recruiter
General Interest Green Key News Pharma Worklife

Green Key Unlocked: FAQs of Working with a Recruiter

Green Key Announces New Senior Partners
General Interest Green Key News Worklife

Green Key Announces New Senior Partners

Green Key Against Gun Violence
General Interest Green Key News

Green Key Against Gun Violence

How to Support Mental Health in the Workplace
General Interest Green Key News Worklife

How to Support Mental Health in the Workplace

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Larry Goodman
General Interest Green Key News Pharma Worklife

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Larry Goodman

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Mike Glock
Accounting + Finance Financial Services General Interest Worklife

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Mike Glock

How to Make Your Candidate an Attractive Offer
General Interest Green Key News Worklife

How to Make Your Candidate an Attractive Offer

Tips for Recent Grads
General Interest Green Key News Worklife

Tips for Recent Grads

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Patrick Friel
Accounting + Finance General Interest Green Key News Worklife

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Patrick Friel

Working Moms at GKR
General Interest Green Key News Healthcare Human Resources Pharma Professional Support Worklife

Working Moms at GKR

Green Key Resources Opens New Jersey Office
General Interest Green Key News Worklife

Green Key Resources Opens New Jersey Office

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Tim Durkin
Accounting + Finance General Interest Green Key News Worklife

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Tim Durkin

Latest Blog Posts
View All Posts
#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Reilly Hickey

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Reilly Hickey

Reilly graduated from Pace University in 2018 with a degree in Arts & Entertainment Management. She worked in casting for...
Read More
Green Key Unlocked: Keys to Success in Agency Recruiting

Green Key Unlocked: Keys to Success in Agency Recruiting

Becoming a successful recruiter is no easy feat. Staffing is an industry that requires specific skills and persistence in order...
Read More
Resume Tricks for 2022

Resume Tricks for 2022

To keep you on top of the resume trends, we've put together a comprehensive list of tricks and tips to...
Read More