THE ROLE OF ACCOUNTANTS IN THE FACE OF GLOBAL ECONOMIC MELTDOWN AND FINANCIAL CRISIS
NEW BUSINESS REALITY AND CHALLENGE
The global economic meltdown that has rocked the world of business of recent has placed new demand on accountants. This is due to the fact that the rule of business has far been changed. And the importance of accounting is more felt in our society today.
Business successes now revolve around fragile ‘factor of production’ the computer. Just as the press of a button, the whole world of business will go scrambling. If that is not true, want then happened to the sub-prime economy of the US that caused the global economic crisis?
This change in business focus gave rise to a new business need – to operate with computers also. And this in turn gave rise to the challenge that accountants face. Accountants no longer have to act as traditional accountants but will grow up a bit to become ‘information measurement and business measurement specialists’.
Professional accounting merged with Information technology to be able to carter for the new challenge of the new business world.
A system that incorporates IT, Finance and Accounting was developed as a result of the merger between accounting and IT.
Accountants – especially business and investment accountants have three roles to play in this new business game.
Designers of the new system
Users of the new system
Auditors of the new system
ROLE OF ACCOUNTANTS
As designers, accountants bring in knowledge from these fields;
Accounting, Auditing, Accounting Information Systems, Systems development techniques, Information management skill and Business world
Accountants answer questions as; what will be recognized? How will it be recognized? When will it be recognized? What controls need to be in place so as to meet the objectives of the business- which is to maximize investor’s wealth? Etc
As users of the new system, accountants are often called upon to participate in the design of the system. For Accountants to be well equipped in this position, certain skills need to be acquired. Accountants needs to be skilled in; systems documentation, systems development life cycle and technology used in developing the system and to run the system.
As auditors, accountants lend credibility to the result that comes out of the system. An auditor ensures that systems and their products are reliable. They test the controls embedded in the system, assess the systems reliability in terms of effectiveness and efficiency, and participate in the systems design process. An auditor cannot effectively audit a system they know nothing about.
To be reasonably well equipped for this position in the new business world, auditors must be vast in the following fields; systems controls, internal controls, systems development, operation of Accounting information system, the working of the technology behind development, process and implementation of information systems.
I have confidence that with right tools, information and knowledge in place, accountants will meet and surpass the targets set for them by the new rule of the business world.
To this end, I encourage you to keep yourself relevant by continuously learning new things as they unfold. It is no longer acceptable for one to dwell in outdated knowledge especially accountants.
In addition to being professionally qualified as an accountant. I recommend that you get professional certification in risk and compliance as this will go a long way in helping position you in your new role as a hybrid accountant.
To your success as an accountant!
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