Hudson recently released the results of its latest Talent Insights Report, with a specific focus on the accounting and finance sector.
The report found that the accounting and finance sector is facing many challenges in the face of change, both internally and externally.
Hudson Victoria general manager Kristen Mangelsdorf spoke to Accountants Daily about challenges across three areas: the business, the workplace and the team.
For the business, the top three challenges identified by survey respondents were compliance/regulation burdens, economic uncertainty and increased customer demands.
“Increasing regulation generally means that we're seeing more and more need for people with risk and compliance specialisation across all industries,” Ms Mangelsdorf said.
“From the economic uncertainty, I think we're seeing in most organisations there's been a lot of change, such as budget cutting, implementing new technology, restructuring, which has had an impact on accountants having to probably provide information more quickly with less resources.”
She continued, “That’s probably around the increased customer demands as well, the amount of information out there around the customer, and an accountant having to understand how to access the information and provide analysis on it.”
For the workplace, organisation or team restructures, implementing new technology platforms and budget cuts were the top three challenges for respondents.
“The restructuring is aligned to customer needs and the future of the business, rather than cost cutting, but I think that always has an impact on what the requirements are from an accountant,” she said.
“New technology in accounting is around driving efficiencies. Organisations are looking at new technology, outsourcing functions, automating roles, and that's certainly a big trend that impacts the role of an accountant.”
She added, “Budget cuts are a response to the economic challenges or economic uncertainty. Budget cuts come in number three across Australia for accountants in our research, but I think it would be higher in some states than others.”
Lastly the top challenges for the team, according to the report, are keeping employees engaged and motivated, helping staff adapt to change and upskilling staff.
“If you look at salaries for accountants over the last five years, they've remained fairly static so it’s really how you keep employees engaged and motivated when salaries are not going anywhere,” Ms Mangelsdorf said.
“Companies are always looking for people that can work in a changing environment, and it's just making sure that people actually have those skills. It’s around that kind of adaptability and resilience that is important.
“The third part is upskilling the team as well, so that's also around helping staff to adapt to change and helping them build resilient skills.”