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Contractor accountants’ skills to become essential this decade

Contractor accountants’ skills to become essential this decade

Although contractor accountants are set face several challenges over the coming years, they are in fact one of the best placed professions according to the International Federation of Accountants.

This view is shared by Peter Simons, who is a technical specialist at the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA). Simons anticipates that accountants will soon see a shift in their role from crisis management to more of a tactical involvement in their respective businesses.

He has already highlighted the need for better MI and reporting systems, as well as closer business partnering as the UK moves out of recession. According to Simons, management and contractor accountants are ideally placed to provide this information and to help senior managers take advantage of new found opportunities.

The view from PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC) is that accountants will need to employ more sophisticated techniques for forecasting demand, as well as predicting performance, including sector specific indicators. They also suggest that cash flow reporting and liquidity management are examples where robust reporting tools have been sorely missed in the past.

It’s quite clear to many that the recession has highlighted weaknesses that have previously been hidden, and finance teams should play a lead role in ensuring information is imparted to the right people, at the right time. Management Accountants will need the strength of character to be direct and tell bosses things they would rather not hear.

CSR or corporate social responsibility is another area that organisations seeking to boost their credibility will need to tackle.

Over the next ten years we’re likely to see management accounting careers evolving with ‘management’ becoming more of a keyword than transaction processing. In turn, this should make the career more appealing to people with analytical and problem solving skills.

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Image: Man of Steel by bbaltimore

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