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Changing Educational and Training Requirements for Accountants, Research Paper Example

Pages: 1

Words: 666

Research Paper

The contemporary labor market is characterized by changeability and intense competition attributable mainly to the pressures of globalization and technological innovation on specialists in any field. The labor mobility has increased tremendously in the couple of previous decades, which indicates that a person graduating from a higher educational establishment with an accounting diploma will have to compete with accounting specialists from his or her country and beyond. High-class specialists may move from one city to another one, and even change the country of residence in case they are offered a profitable job; hence, a degree in accounting does not guarantee a highly paid, prestigious job in the company or organization one wants to apply to; at present, accountants have to comply with a much wider variety of requirements and expected skills to be successful in employment, and to make a good career.

As Zraa, Kavanagh, and Hartle (2011) admitted, the most fundamental change in the accounting career that has recently taken place is the shift of focus from the technical side of accounting to a more client-oriented profession. The present change may produce undesirable tension on many existing accountants who are perfect in calculations, data analysis and interpretation, but lack communication and advisory skills so strategically important in the present-day accounting profession. Technical competencies and the aptitude to mathematics remain obligatory for people planning a career in accounting; however, those who aspire for a successful career and a highly paid job in accounting in the context of the 21st century have to add the communicative skills, critical thinking, forward thinking, strategic planning, and teamwork skills to their personality profile to advance in accounting (Zraa et al., 2011).

Computers and digitization also play the decisive role in the reshaping economic landscape, and the changing requirements for professional accountants. The introduction of computer technologies to virtually every aspect of private and professional lives poses unexpected challenges for the modern accountants that did not exist about a decade ago. At present, all accounting information and operations are computerized, which, on the one hand, gives an enormous advantage for accountants to speed up their calculations, employ sophisticated analytical software, and achieve much richer results within a much shorter period of time without the need to apply significant manual labor (Career Information: Accountants and Auditors, 2008). However, at the same time, accountants face two innovative challenges – obligatory computer proficiency and professionalism in computer security.

The computer proficiency skills are not rare at present’; education and training in virtually every profession now includes the obligatory course in computer skills specific for that profession. Basic computer literacy is the indispensible skill of any person of young age; the 21st-century generation has been growing with computers, video games, Internet, social networks, etc., which made them unconsciously adapt to these new technologies, and resulted in their relative comfort with new digital advances. However, computer security is a much more sophisticated field that requires integrity, attention, accuracy, and caution. With the rise of cyber-crime, hacking, and cyber-terrorism, it has become unsafe to keep strategically essential financial information in the computers; however, digital storage is unavoidable, so the task of accountants is to provide the proper protection for their reports and calculations to keep their employers’ information private.

Indeed, the changing requirements for training and education in accounting may scare some young people planning a career in accounting away; however, I believe that a genuine professional should be flexible and adaptive, and should respond to the labor market changes in a timely and efficient manner. New challenges mean professional and personal growth, and diversification of personal skills is likely to add beneficial points to my professional skills. Hence, I would adhere to the changing training requirements for accounting, and would pursue my goal for the sake of taking a reasonable and deserved place in the accounting field upon graduation.

References

Career Information: Accountants and Auditors (2008). College Grad. Retrieved from http://www.collegegrad.com/career/accountingcareer.shtml

Zraa, W., Kavanaugh, M., & Hartle, T. (2011). Teaching accounting in the new millennium. Cambridge Business and Economics Conference. Retrieved from http://www.gcbe.us/2011_CBEC/data/Wahida%20Zraa1,%20Marie%20Kavanagh,%20R.%20Todd%20Hartle.doc

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