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 Justin Stratton
Creative General Interest Green Key News Human Resources Professional Support Worklife

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Justin Stratton

Director of Green Key Pharma Receives RAPS’ Community Leadership Award
General Interest Green Key News Healthcare Leadership + Management Pharma Worklife

Director of Green Key Pharma Receives RAPS’ Community Leadership Award

5 Tips to Ace Your Virtual Interview
Accounting + Finance Architecture + Engineering Creative Financial Services General Interest Healthcare Human Resources Information Technology Leadership + Management Legal Support Marketing Technology Pharma Professional Support

5 Tips to Ace Your Virtual Interview

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Clare Wright
General Interest Green Key News Professional Support Worklife

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Clare Wright

Green Key Unlocked: The Future of Administrative Support
General Interest Green Key News Human Resources Professional Support Worklife

Green Key Unlocked: The Future of Administrative Support

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Tara Potter
General Interest Green Key News Pharma

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Tara Potter

Green Key Unlocked: Hiring Trends in Architecture, Engineering, and Construction
Architecture + Engineering General Interest Green Key News

Green Key Unlocked: Hiring Trends in Architecture, Engineering, and Construction

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Shandi Frederick
General Interest Green Key News Healthcare

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Shandi Frederick

#GreenKeyUnlocked: What’s New in the Tech Job Market?
General Interest Green Key News Information Technology

#GreenKeyUnlocked: What’s New in the Tech Job Market?

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Jordan Boyd
General Interest Green Key News Information Technology

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Jordan Boyd

How to Negotiate a Job Offer
General Interest Worklife

How to Negotiate a Job Offer

#GreenKeyUnlocked: Digital Tools and Technologies in Pharma
General Interest Green Key News Healthcare Marketing Technology Pharma

#GreenKeyUnlocked: Digital Tools and Technologies in Pharma

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Jordan Haas
General Interest Green Key News Pharma

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Jordan Haas

#GreenKeyUnlocked: Become a Medical Assistant
General Interest Green Key News Healthcare

#GreenKeyUnlocked: Become a Medical Assistant

#WeAreGreenKey: Intern Spotlight on Olivia Stein
General Interest Green Key News Healthcare Worklife

#WeAreGreenKey: Intern Spotlight on Olivia Stein

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Brett Braterman
General Interest Green Key News Healthcare

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Brett Braterman

#GreenKeyUnlocked: Accounting Advisory Consulting
Accounting + Finance Financial Services

#GreenKeyUnlocked: Accounting Advisory Consulting

#GreenKeyUnlocked: Let’s Get Creative!
Creative General Interest Green Key News

#GreenKeyUnlocked: Let’s Get Creative!

How to Quit Your Job (The Right Way)
General Interest Worklife

How to Quit Your Job (The Right Way)

Green Key Unlocked: Let’s Talk Marketing Operations
General Interest Green Key News Information Technology Marketing Technology

Green Key Unlocked: Let’s Talk Marketing Operations

Latest Blog Posts
View All Posts
#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Justin Stratton

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Justin Stratton

Justin Stratton joined Green Key Resources as an Executive Recruiter in 2015. Six years later, he is a Staffing Manager...
Read More
Director of Green Key Pharma Receives RAPS’ Community Leadership Award

Director of Green Key Pharma Receives RAPS’ Community Leadership Award

Director of Green Key Pharma, Lindsey Summers, is a co-recipient of the Regulatory Affairs Professional Society (RAPS) 2021 Community Leadership...
Read More
5 Tips to Ace Your Virtual Interview

5 Tips to Ace Your Virtual Interview

Whether you’re preparing for a phone screen or a final stage interview, virtual interviews are now an inevitable component of...
Read More