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Survey Finds a Global Accounting Change Is Occurring

August 28th, 2019

accounting cultural shift survey

Driven by market demands, digitalization and generational shifts, a cultural change in accounting is occurring worldwide.

"We see evidence that a majority of professionals are actively and extensively examining not only what's being offered today to customers, but also the processes and structures behind running their practice," writes Jennifer Warawa, EVP of Partners, Accountants and Alliances with the accounting services firm Sage.

In her foreword to the recently released Practice of Now report, Warawa says the 3,000 respondent survey evidences "the continuing shift from a transactional profession to one focused on partnership and consultancy. To meet this need, accountants are looking outside the profession to acquire the talent and expertise they need."

That itself is a sign of the cultural shift that the vast majority -- 90% -- of the survey participants says is underway in the profession. The report says, "Survey data suggest that the cultural shift taking place is being partly driven by clients and the marketplace, which together are demanding much more than the traditional number crunching that has historically driven the accounting profession."

Some of the report's findings that bolster the belief that change in the way accounting does business includes:

  • 82% of firms are open to the idea of recruiting non-traditional candidates; 43% said new accountants should have experience outside of accounting.
  • 62% agree that today's training programs will not be sufficient to run a successful practice by 2030.
  • 85% of the accountants believe the profession needs to pick up the pace of technology adoption to remain internationally competitive.

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