Traditionally, when someone is looking for an accountant they’re looking for someone with a background in the field, experience, schooling, and maybe some Excel skills. As long as you were good at your job and some basic computer skills, you were a great fit for any open accounting job. Fast forward to the 21st century. These skills are no longer enough for an accounting job, companies and clients want to see that you know how to run accounting software or ERP software, and are good at it.
These shifts have taken place for two reasons:
- A majority of client can now self-serve their bookkeeping needs. There are a lot of affordable software products on the market that allow clients to input data, and spit out numbers for them that are easily understood and interpreted.
- There are tons of apps and add-ons for these accounting software solutions that can extend the functionality of the software, such as supply chain management, project management, tax solutions and reporting.
Due to these add-ons and easily accessible accounting solutions, clients expect accountants to know which add-ons are right for their ERP solution, and which ones are best for their business. It’s no longer enough to know and understand how to use Excel, a business can do that themselves. Now, you must know and understand accounting software and all that comes with it.
Accountants now must become ERP experts. They need to know which systems to recommend to their clients, which add-ons to recommend to their clients, and how to train their clients to use the system effectively. By doing these tasks, the accountant, or ERP expert, then has time to become more competitive. They can create strategic reports for the business, help make key decisions and give insight.
Gone are the days of hiring an accountant because they have accounting experience or understand Excel. Now an accountant’s qualifications include understand cloud technology and being knowledgeable of ERP systems.