Technological disruptions is altering business models worldwide; however the most important skill for the accountant of the future is neither crunching figures nor building software. It is adaptability.
This was part of the conclusions of the 49th annual accountants’ conference that ended in Abuja recently, which also called on accountants to turn technological disruptions to enablers for performance.
At the week-long deliberations participants also concluded that disruptive technologies will impact accounting profession enormously especially in such areas as auditing, ethics and assurance among others.
They therefore called on the nation to train its young and growing professionals in these new technologies in order to harness the benefits.
Such training the conference recommended would require the upgrading of curriculum for schools to include the new technological skills that are already trending in advanced countries of the world. Some of these are artificial intelligence, machine learning, internet of things, cyber security, and robotics among others.
Participants were of the view that technological disruptions would create opportunities for accountants in the future in such areas as tech projects advisory, data custodianship, data analytics, and technology adaptation to increase quality and efficiency as well as bridging the gap between coders and data services.
The conference recognized corruption and poor infrastructure as major impediments to national economic progress and called on Nigerians to work towards improving its ranking in the corruption perception index if it desires to achieve the twin objectives of sustainable growth and development.
It agreed that corruption is a global scourge that must be fought in a sustained and pragmatic manner and that this requires a tripod approach to tackle including education, prevention and punishment.
In order to sustain the fight against corruption, agencies of government need to be strengthened to be more efficient and transparent. Part of this approach will be that those that manage these institutions should be adequately remunerated while processes and systems should be technology-driven, the conference participants said.
The conference also noted that agencies created to fight corruption in the country appear to be overwhelmed by the enormity of the problem and the strategies adopted to deal with it and requested that civil liberties be respected as the rule of law is critical to the fight against corruption.
They called for the improvement of infrastructure especially power which was identified as critical to development, noting that human development and security are mutually enforced when people’s productive capacity are enhanced through adequate provision of infrastructure.
Participants also called on accountants to always facilitate accurate and sound financial health of their organizations and be honest in their reporting.