As the discussion regarding the need to change the perception about the accounting profession intensifies worldwide, the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) organized a Forum for Education Directors of IFAC, professional accounting organizations and firms operating on the global market on June 29. The purpose of the meeting was to get answers to the question „Why be a professional accountant?,” and to understand what young people want from a career in the financial-accounting field.
As a recognition and appreciation for the work carried out by The Body of Expert and Licensed Accountants of Romania (CECCAR) at national, regional, and international level, IFAC invited the Romanian professional body, together with the SUA, Scotland, Mexico and South Africa, to designate a young professional accountant to participate as a speaker in the panel of the forum dedicated to this subject.
Appreciating and promoting excellence and performance, Mădălina Cîrstoniu was selected and appointed by CECCAR as representative in the panel, the criteria being the results obtained on the aptitude exam and knowledge of the English language.
The issues addressed included: how can the accountancy profession be presented as attractively as possible to those that do not understand that this is more than a simple counting of a companies` figures, which is the most important message that should be conveyed in order to attract young people into this profession, where and how should we promote the profession and when should we start – in high school, primary school, etc.
The ideas expressed in the panel highlighted that the accounting profession is a profession of the future, which provides young people with a stable career and plenty of opportunities. A main attraction for young people in choosing the expert accountant profession is the fact that many want to become leaders one day, and numerous studies show that many CEOs started with a career in accounting. Warren Buffet said:” Accounting is the language of business,” a statement that captures very well the opportunity of this field to gain a comprehensive understanding of an organisation from within. Revenues are also an attractive factor of the expert accountant profession; with professional development young professional also obtain material satisfaction.
It It has also been said that many people believe that the accountancy profession is monotonous, lacking creativity and that technology will affect the future of accountants. Young professionals debated this topic and concluded that the field is constantly evolving, and new technologies helps improving the accountant`s activity. Furthermore, it is a field that offers independence, mobility, the possibility of international careers, which are very attractive for young professionals. All these aspects should be promoted more on specialised websites, social media channels, but also in high schools and universities.
Another conclusion is that in the future, technology will help professionals focus on data analysis and providing solutions to increase efficiency and reduce risks, in order to contribute to the making of adequate decisions for the organisation`s sustainable growth.
In terms of the skills that a professional accountant must possess, were listed, among others, attention to detail, openness to innovation and technology, the capacity for continuous learning, but also critical analysis and thinking, the two pillars of professional judgement.
Although the path to becoming a professional accountant is difficult, the satisfaction of becoming a freelance professional exceeds all efforts made to get there.
The key message conveyed by CECCAR`s representative and appreciated by the audience was the adoption of Smart Accounting for Smart Economy concept, thus showing the profession`s ability to adapt to requirements of the business environment, which is constantly changing and leading the professional accountant towards the role of strategic advisor in organisations.