At Galway Business School, you can take up an Introduction to Accounting Course as part of the Springboard scheme.
Accountants are often held up as the safe ones in the business. As we said in this very blog, ‘they won’t go out of fashion, because they’ve never been in fashion…’
That’s true in a lot of ways and points to a career future which is pretty solid, but suggests a predictability which may not be entirely true because what it ignores is the fact that in any organisation, the accountants hold the power.
In fact, if you’re looking for a more buccaneering role, it may well be that of accountant. Because as companies are changing more fundamentally and more quickly than ever, there’s one figure in the centre of everything. Looking to be the one who leads the corporate charge into the digital future? Look no further than finance.
Digital transformation is key to the survival of many, many businesses. If the Covid-19 crisis has taught us anything it is that digital is the route to resilience. Yet many companies have fallen short in their evolution, and failed to deliver the level of innovation required. There’s often plenty of other stakeholders in those conversations - the marketing people, the techies, the supply chain folk and so on.
But, often, the accounting team is left out. And that’s a big mistake - because there are a number of reasons why the finance function holds the reins to real change:
Digital transformation is driven by data
The accounting and finance people ought to be the champions of the use of data: customer information, and corporate and employee data - the works. It is the accounting team who can structure the functions and deliverables of a company to the information the data gives - understanding where the demand is, and where the supply might be falling short. By knowing what the critical measures of a company are, an accountant can create a framework to collect the best data to help meet those deliverables, and begin the process of transforming a company based on experience to one based on the facts.
The accountant is the controller of ‘enterprise risk’, with oversight on issues such as data privacy, cybersecurity, and regulatory compliance (think GDPR as one basic requirement).
There is no other executive who can walk the risk-to-reward tightrope as well, or as accurately, as the head of finance - measuring how data can drive decisions to increase the value of the company while, at the same time, staying aware of how missteps in the ownership and use of that data can cause serious issues. Knowledge is, of course, power.