Home Business Insights & Advice The accounting skills shortage

The accounting skills shortage

by John Saunders
28th Mar 22 12:05 pm

In the accounting sector, a lack of digital skills and expertise is threatening to stifle development and put organisations in financial and legal jeopardy.

According to data, organisations in the accounting industry are understaffed by 22%, with roughly three-quarters (74%) of UK businesses currently being hampered by a shortage of trained professionals.

When combined with rising inflation, the cost of living, and salary expectations, the problem can quickly spin out of control.

In the financial department, SaaS platforms and digital tools have become much more popular, as is the use of automation and artificial intelligence, which necessitates a greater level of tech expertise from employees.

Businesses are yearning for technical skills, but they have no method of obtaining them.

What is the impact of the skills deficit on businesses?

Accountancy is critical in the business sector since it assists organisations and their executives in remaining lawful and compliant with the plethora of financial rules that they confront. As a result, the industry must recruit and keeps the talent it needs to meet the expectations and regulatory standards that the business expects.

As the business grows, new possibilities, technology, and methods of working emerge, posing recruiting issues for a sector that has previously relied on a fairly specific set of talents.

Many recruiting managers in the business are now confronted with a distinct skills shortage, which has been compounded by national trends. In a recent study of 1,000 financial professionals, for instance, 27% said that staff and skills deficits constituted their most pressing concern.

As previously said, this has a detrimental influence on the industry, enterprises, and the larger economy, like accounting and finance, which affects every aspect of a corporation.

With major corporations struggling to find the right people, this is what will unquestionably stymie expansion plans. When combined with sometimes obsolete workloads and intrinsic reluctance to change, these same concerns are exacerbated for businesses that are looking for more than just a strategic advantage, because without the energy accounting does provide, a company’s engines cannot flip over.

What new talents do contemporary professional accountants require, and what is driving this demand?

In an era where digital technology has taken over the majority of the manual chores traditionally connected with accounting, such as data input and filing, accountants must now focus on more strategic business and commercial responsibilities. Forecasting, business planning, and other strategic development tasks are among them.

This presents the accounting profession with a unique chance to chart a new course for the future development of accounting professionals, one that is inextricably linked to the use of digital technology to promote growth in all aspects of a company.

Abandon old software in favour of cutting-edge technologies

Professional accountants in London, for instance, will also have adopted a blended or flexible strategy to work as a result of the epidemic, which would have worsened ineffective procedures that were hardly feasible in the workplace.

Glitchy, heritage software products will already be revealed, and for organisations to become even more effective and adopt modern technology, making sure professional accountants can not only use but also fully comprehend what the innovation has to be at the leading edge of every business strategy, as well as a fundamental focus for prospective professional accountancy training.

Improve your soft skills

Furthermore, while technology may relieve the pressure of old manual activities, accounting professionals are expected to deal with a larger variety of individuals than they have in the past. This is where possessing a wide range of soft skills would be advantageous to the job.

This gives the industry a chance to examine the training and recruitment processes that accounting professionals go through. Although there is no single path to developing the appropriate soft skills, professional accountants can obtain them through knowledge and experiences all through their career paths, allowing for a stream of new talent capable of providing the proactive business and commercial duties that will be required of them later in their career paths.

Companies that can use instinctive and revolutionary technology start giving themselves a framework to distinguish themselves from their competitors in the market, which in the era of the great resignation and the increasing significance of employee participation, would not only relieve the pain out of manual processes, but it will also enable professionals to concentrate on much more fulfilling work while providing opportunities for skill enhancement, which are main drivers for expertise acquisition and retention.

Is innovation capable of picking up some of the slack?

Digital technology is critical to corporate success in all sectors, and companies must be adventurous and creative in their approaches to technology, particularly in terms of meeting the demands of the next generation of professional accountants.

The Cloud hosted accounting softwares

The two, however, are inextricably linked. You can’t, and wouldn’t want to, replace an entire department with machines, but by wisely purchasing and deploying software, such as cloud-based accounting software, businesses can support remote working while also recruiting and training people with the capacity and desire to bring in-demand skills and fresh ideas to move the company forward.

Making things artificially intelligent

The intelligence of things is created by combining the internet of things (IoT), which is a system of organically linked gadgets and equipment, with artificial intelligence (AI).

This enables things to interact and function without the need for human involvement, opening up several possibilities for accounting systems and accounting experts.

Accounting experts may use the intelligence of things to track ledgers, transactions, and other information in real-time. Artificial intelligence enables essential patterns to be detected and concerns to be promptly remedied. Accounting operations such as audits become considerably more efficient and stress-free as a result of this continual monitoring. The intelligence of things also helps with inventory tracking and management.


When it comes to filling the skills gap, one thing is clear: investing in accounting technology can set you apart as an employer who can attract smart people who want to work for you and have the abilities to help you grow your business.

Companies that are making technology investments, both monetarily and culturally, will indeed be able to attract, train, and, most crucially, retain the professional accountants of the future in the drive to compensate for the skills deficit.

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