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Accounting and finance: what’s happening in Australia?

by Yvette Maurice

**This is an updated post**

The evolving nature of technology in the digital age means that careers in accounting, bookkeeping and finance are always changing.

A career in accounting is anything but dull. People in the know understand that there’s always a wealth of new and exciting trends that emerge in the field, making it one of the most dynamic professions in Australia.

If you love crunching numbers and solving problems, have fantastic organizational skills and enjoy working with a diverse range of people, then a career in accounting or finance could be perfect for you.

What accounting and finance trends are emerging in Australia?

Melinda Arko was the Head of Portfolio, Accounting and Finance at Open Colleges for almost three years before moving on to become the General Manager for Business Services. She started her career as an accounting and economics teacher in Brisbane and has co-authored a textbook titled Nelson’s Business Education.

Melinda is passionate about finance and accounting education and online learning environments. She has a strong focus on quality, compliant courses. We asked Melinda to share her extensive knowledge with us and identify some emerging trends in accounting, finance and bookkeeping.

Accounting and finance trend #1: The cloud

Melinda believes that the cloud will become more important than ever when it comes not just to finance and accounting, but for holistic business process.

“We’ve already seen the evolution and importance of the cloud in recent years. It’s no longer about one particular type of software. Entire business process are now located within the cloud. Examples of this would be Microsoft SharePoint.”

As well as every day business solutions, accounting systems have also moved to the cloud, like MYOB and Xero.

The importance of the cloud at all levels of business is undeniable in the modern age.

Accounting and finance trend #2: Service offerings

While it is not true that an Accountant’s job can be done by a robot (as debunked in another one of our accounting blog posts), there are some aspects of the role which can definitly be automated. By automating simple, time-consuming jobs, Accountants have more time to expand their skillset and their role. Ergo, they can offer a wider range of services.

“There is increasing efficiencies in the sorts of work traditionally undertaken by both Bookkeepers and Accountants,” says Melinda, “which means there is great opportunity to extend services into that of a business advisor, analysing and monitoring performance, managing budgets and planning.”

Accounting and finance trend #3: Client engagement models

With recent developments forcing many of us to work remotely, there has been a strong focus on developing and continuing client relationships.

“Working remotely with clients whilst maintaining and developing strong and supportive relationships will be a big trend.” These can provide Accountants with the ability to deliver their clients a “totally integrated” accounting and financial service offering, under their own personal brand.

Accounting and finance trend #4: Reputation

“The reputation of Bookkeepers is growing and is being acknowledged for the important role they fill and the exceptional level of care they apply to their work,” says Melinda. 

The finance sector in Australia is a stable, growing industry that employs more than 800,000 people. The importance of financial and accounting professionals is reflected in these numbers. 

Accounting and finance trend #5: Upskilling and furthering your career

As technology continues to evolve and the world around us changes, it’s more important than ever before to continue developing your professional skills. Upskilling is the new normal for those who want their skills to remain sharp and relevant.

“My Certificate IV graduates have gained confidence when they achieved their qualification,” Melinda points out. “Now these people are assessing options about obtaining further qualifications to enhance their skills and service offering to clients.”

Online study is one way you can further your career prospects.

The importance of solid partnerships for your future career in accounting

Open Colleges’ accounting and finance courses come complete with industry endorsements from some of Australia’s leading financial bodies. This means that when you choose to study a course with OC, you know you’ll be learning industry-relevant skills that will help get you job ready.

Here are some of Open Colleges’ official finance and accounting partners:

Institute of Public Accountants

The Institute of Public Accountants (IPA) has existed for almost a century and they have more than 35,000 members across the world. They have a strong focus on small business, with the majority of their members either working for small businesses, or acting as a small business.  

According to their website, “IPA’s commitment to members includes the delivery of quality continual professional development and education pathways, ensuring they maintain currency of knowledge and relevance in an ever-changing and competitive market.”

With this as a key goal, the IPA work to promote the exchange of knowledge and best practice to build relationships across borders and focus on overseas membership expansion, particularly in Malaysia and China.

Australian Bookkeepers Network

The Australian Bookkeepers Network (ABN) is the foremost professional bookkeepers’ association in Australia. They provide technical publications, relevant resources, networking opportunities, training and education and business building tools to their members to help them throughout their careers.

Their products and services can also make sure that you, as a Bookkeeper, remain compliant and that you’re up to date when it comes to legislative requirements.

Their website states that “ABN has helped thousands of bookkeepers by offering guidance and the practical tools needed to run a successful bookkeeping practice.” 

Could a course in accounting be your ticket to a stable, rewarding career?

Open Colleges has a range of online accounting and finance courses to suit your career goals—whether you’re looking to launch your career, expand your skillset or upskill and get promoted.

All of our courses are facilitated online through our intuitive learning platform, OpenSpace, which means you can study whenever you want, wherever you are. 

Find out more about our accounting and finance courses and enrol today.

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