“If thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought.”
- George Orwell
‘Sustainability’ is all about meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.
Traditionally, Accountants talk quite a bit about yesterday and today, but not so much about tomorrow. This is mainly due to the accounting bodies and reporting framework, which has never required them to think or speak critically about the future.
Yet as the notion of sustainability grows more significant with each passing year, the 'short-termism' mindset displayed by many Accountants will no longer suffice, as technology continues to disrupt the industry and relieve many skilled left-brain thinkers of their roles and responsibilities.
The Accountants who persevere will be the ones who can offer something more than the typical mundane operational ability, which will inevitably be replaced by artificial intelligence.
Quite exciting, when you think about it: Accountants will gradually transition away from informing clients about US GAAP and the Tax code, to explaining how news and current events impact their bookkeeping. Accountants will be called upon to outline environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues, and correlate them to financial outcomes (although not inherently financial, ESG factors can indeed reflect business issues which have quantifiable impacts on a company’s balance sheet, income statement, or risk profile, and thus its cost of capital).
In the end, the ‘Accountants of Tomorrow’ will be those who are most capable of meeting investor demand for present-day decision making based on a robust, forward-looking analysis.
If you’d like to learn more about how to position yourself as an Accountant of Tomorrow, schedule a time for a Free consultation.