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Digital skills

Technology has enabled automation of many elements of accountancy and this provides an opportunity for chartered accountants to utilise their professional skills to add value.

IBM estimate that every day, 2.3 trillion gigabytes of data are created, but only 1 in 3 businesses trust the source of data. Technology can provide information more quickly and often more accurately than humans but it cannot replicate human intelligence and quality decision-making. Therefore chartered accountants hold a key role in data analytics in validating the source of the data, interpreting and analysing the outputs. 

As technology continues to develop, the automation of many traditional elements of accountancy has fundamentally changed the way of doing business. But while technology can provide information more quickly and often more accurately than humans, it cannot replicate human intelligence and quality decision-making. 

Together, this provides even greater opportunities for chartered accountants to use their professional skills to add value to their clients and/or the businesses in which they work. 

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Accountants need to have good digital and technological skills to:

  • Ask the right questions of the data
  • Identify the business benefit of performing the analysis
  • Understand the business
  • Interpret the data and relate it to financial performance
  • Apply critical thinking and use their professional scepticism to evaluate and interpret the results
  • Present and communicate key messages effectively to the audience
  • Apply their technical knowledge and project management skills so they can work effectively with others including data scientists.

Individuals with good digital skills can help organisations to:

  • Optimise business decision-making and business performance
  • Identify cost-saving or efficiencies
  • Minimise risk
  • Reduce operating costs
  • Boost profit or increase revenue streams
  • Identify patterns and trends 
 
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