The functions of management accountants have long been established both in practice and in accounting literature. And management accountants have in all fairness lived up to expectations when I come to delivering n their promises.
However, it has become glaring and clear before our eyes that accounting as a profession has caught the disruptive bug that is principally fueled by explosive advancement in business technology management. Management reports that would take a management accountant some valuable time is now being prepared in seconds just at the click of a button by anyone who can use a computer.
In fact, the importance or relevance of accountants are being questioned by some highly placed business leaders who has long concluded that accounting and finance team are just another overhead burden that can be easily eliminated. This was clearly evidenced during the COVID 19 era how many organizations turned to accounting and auditing staff with a sledge harmer when it was time to cut cost.
Worried and curios, I decided to conduct a small survey of how small business owners view their accounting department and staff. The remainder of this article highlights the rather shocking findings.
How small business owners perceive the relevance of their accounting staff members
- The world needs accountants now more than ever: more than half of the total sample are of the opinion that the world cannot do without accountants. Majority of them in the further comment section said that fraud and misappropriation will hit a new all-time high if there is no longer a profession called accountancy.
- Only management accountants who are trendy are still relevant: another somewhat general consensus opinion is that only accountants who take out time to develop their skillsets will be relevant in the future. The implication of this is that there will most likely be a shortage for accountants in the coming years because not all accountants will be willing and ready to embrace these massive changes that is ahead of us in the world of finance.
- Costs of hiring accountants are money well spent: surprisingly or should I say unsurprisingly, over 88% of the respondents think that the money they have spent in hiring accountants are worth the pain of departing with the money. This is a very striking response considering what we all witnessed during the recent COVID pandemic that we all experienced where finance team members were soft targets that got the sack hit.
- Best business managers are accountants or came from accounting background: we gathered from business owners that majority of the best managers that they have worked with either came from accounting or are still working as accountants.
- All the fuss about computer taking over the job of accountants will soon fizzle out: majority of people that responded to our survey questions believe that people will soon realize that accounting as a profession cannot be extinct by computer. And that once this becomes obvious, all the fuss will start experiencing a natural death. There is however a big caveat here, finance professionals either adopt to becoming a disruptive accountant or fizzle out with the fuss.
As you can see, all the above responses are in favour of accountants. These findings are confirming the ever-flourishing bottom-lines of professional accounting bodies all over the world. The professional bodies are waxing stronger in researches and making real money from membership subscriptions. The survey also brought out what will soon become a major concern. Over 74% of the respondents who are affiliated to one professional accounting body or the other feels they are not really getting the anticipated value from their professional association with their professional accounting body.