By 2026, accountants believe that tech skills will be required in order to succeed, according to a report from cloud-based accounting software company Xero.
The report showed that whilst the majority of accountants are aware of how important it is to keep up to date with new technologies, many of them are not investing enough time into developing skills to allow them to do so.
Accountants were found to be aware of the importance of particular tech skills, with 48 per cent believing that business management skills will be needed in order to succeed by 2026. This was followed by risk analysis skills at 43 per cent and computer science skills at 24 per cent.
Over 70 per cent of accountants think that adequate knowledge of automation and technology in finance will be vital for their success over the next five years, whilst 22 per cent believe that tech skills will become so important that they will have to vacate the sector if they do not learn them by the end of the next 10 years.
The report also identified a change in the traditional nine-to-five accountancy role, with 40 per cent of accountants saying that cloud technology has enabled them to have a more flexible worklife, whilst 75 per cent believe that choosing their own hours would help them to be more successful.
Commenting on the research, Xero UK Managing Director Gary Turner said that it is encouraging that many accountants believe that gaining tech skills is a key survival skill.
He added: “However, the survey also suggests that the profession needs to work harder on investing sufficient time in keeping abreast of emerging technologies, and in more effectively persuading SMEs that a close working relationship with a financial professional will be important in years to come.”
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