Keeping Pace with Change: Turning Accountants into Consultants

Keeping Pace with Change: Turning Accountants into Consultants

As competition increases with the advancement of technology, many accounting firms are increasingly looking into business consulting as a new revenue stream. However, a recent study shows that firms are struggling with expansion into consulting.

Universities like Macquarie is overhauling its undergraduate accounting degree to include advisory-style skill to equip graduates and to be more appealing to employers. This is a culmination of a two-year process that involved asking students what they wanted from their degree and asking businesses what they wanted in graduates.

Adapt, Unlearn, Change

Today’s industry of accounting is almost unrecognisable from 40 years ago. Who knows what would it be like 40 years from now? So how can accountants prepare for the future?

Geoff Frost from Sydney University says, “Students need to learn how to adapt, how to unlearn and how to change.” In light of rapid and unpredictable change, the ability to adapt is one of the most important skills an accountant can have.

Are accountants ready for client-facing roles?

Employers are now expecting graduates to have advisory-style skills. They looked closely at a candidate’s people skills when hiring new graduates.

Aside from validating the technical skills of accountants, it’s good to ask this question to yourself before hiring, “If I put this person in front of a client, what is he going to be like?”

According to Geoff Frost, technical skills are absolutely essential only to provide accountants with the tools to be able to understand the language and landscape of the conversation but the ability to effectively communicate are much more important these days.

The goal for accountants is to be ‘all-rounded’.

Alan McKeown CEO of middle-market firm Prosperity Advisers even said,

 

focus is advisory

 


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