Magazine article Strategic Finance

New Accounting Skills for the Digital Age

Magazine article Strategic Finance

New Accounting Skills for the Digital Age

Article excerpt

Dear IMA Members,

Our profession has been abuzz lately about the digital revolution-how advanced technologies are transforming the role and relevance of management accountants. The message is clear: Change is already here, and its pace is accelerating.

Change may be happening in your own organization right now. As technological advances are eliminating or displacing many entry-level tasks, accountants are being freed up to focus on higher-level, more strategic tasks. That means other skills will become increasingly important and will be required earlier in your career.

What are those skills? Right now, IMA[R] (Institute of Management Accountants) is developing an updated Competency Framework that will be released this summer for a 90day public exposure period. That framework identifies six areas of core skills that management accountants need to remain relevant in the digital age:

Technology and Analytics. As Big Data matures, management accountants will need knowledge of data extraction tools for mining structured and unstructured data. They'll need to be able to employ data analysis tools that help collate, manage, and analyze this data, as well as be used for data visualization and storytelling.

Strategic Management. Strategic management includes activities such as competitive analysis, forecasting and budgeting, operational decision analysis, enterprise risk management, and innovation.

Reporting and Control. With robotic process automation (RPA) increasingly being used to auto mate accounting processes, management accountants will need to be able to evaluate the efficiency and effectiveness of accounting processes and to make recommendations to optimize them. …

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