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What These 3 Key Changes in Accounting Mean for the Future of the Profession

What do you think of when you picture an accountant? Most people think of that bespectacled man sitting at a desk loaded to the ceiling with files, pencil in hand and a huge red ledger on the desk before him. As funny as that sounds, that is what the profession once was. However, changes are in the air and within the next decade or two, the field of accounting will almost be unrecognizable by today’s standards.

In fact, there are 3 key changes taking place in the world of accounting that will have a major impact on the future of the profession. If you are considering a masters of accounting, these are changes you will need to be prepared for. You will be qualified to take the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exam but what you do tomorrow will be radically different from how accountants operate today.

1. Digital Technology

Yes, you already heavily rely on digital technology, but even that is evolving as time goes on. Much of your business is now completed on a computer, aided by accounting programs such as NetSuite, Sage ERP and QuickBooks. You may even receive files from clients uploaded to Dropbox or iCloud and there are times when you may not even see the client you are working with for months at a time.

There is some amount of conjecture that digital technology will lead to a greater degree of outsourcing so that many of the data entry tasks will be completed overseas. Just as call centers are now outsourcing work to call rooms in other countries, CPAs may be outsourcing tasks to remote workers around the globe. As the CPA, the buck will rest with you, but many of your menial duties can be relegated elsewhere.

2. Reporting & Disclosures

If you followed the last general election, a lot of press was given to the concept of disclosure. Along with globalization of tasks comes the ability to move money quickly and easily from one country to another. This could present a real problem to Uncle Sam if a ‘paper trail’ should suddenly go cold.

New ways of following the movement of currency and ways to disclose that movement are in the works. These changes will have an impact on how someone with an online accounting master’s degree reports the movement of money in year-end tax filings.

3. Global Regulations

Another aspect of a global economy is the fact that international regulations must be created and agreed upon by nations entering into trade. Accountants will be held largely responsible for seeing to it that their clients are in compliance with these regulations and some accountants may even be on advisory panels to help establish new regulations.

The face of accounting is changing which means that schools around the country will be adopting new legislation and methodology as it evolves. When you study for a master’s degree in accounting now, you will be in on the ground floor of these changes as they are instituted. As confusing as it may sound, now is the time to get that degree so that you are part of the solution. Leave the problems behind.

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