Employment trends are dependent on multiple factors that influence the labor market, local and global economy. If we talk about ACCA, then employment trends of ACCA are influenced by changes in the field of accounting and finance. Let us look at some of the current events that may affect the employment trends of ACCA.
The fourth industrial revolution is underway and it has already caused far-reaching effects on the employment market. Technological change and advancement have already caused a lot of changes to businesses and the global economy and so it has also significantly impacted the accounting and finance field. According to Robert Half 2019, Salary Guide 38% of businesses in the UK believe that digitalization is going to be one of the primary causes of change in the future workplace and 49% of businesses in the UAE found it difficult to find suitably skilled and qualified professionals.
This means that the advancement and further development of technology, especially that technology related to accounting and finance will affect the employment trends of ACCA and other accounting professionals in general. We have already seen that in the past when digitization was introduced the world saw a major shift from manual bookkeeping and accounting to computerized accounting techniques.
This meant that accounting professionals had to be trained to use computers. Similarly now we are seeing increased advancement and involvement of technology in business, artificial intelligence is now being increasingly used in businesses to analyze and forecast and this means that the role of accounting professionals is changing as accountants are increasingly being required to interpret and analyze the data produced by AI systems, in addition, data security is a key area of concern for many organizations and this ties up accounting data and records with IT security. In future accounting professionals with the added knowledge of IT security and data analytics will be in high demand and will get higher salaries as compared to accounting professionals without IT knowledge.
Another major impact on the employment patterns is because of Brexit. Brexit has created a lot of uncertainty over the last few years and this uncertainty has already caused a lot of economic changes in the region. The impact of Brexit will also be felt in the accounting profession, as it will result in the mobility of labor from the UK and the movement of capital. Experts believe that when Brexit will come into effect many businesses will move into Europe and this will result in the outsourcing of functions and offices that will particularly affect the accounting profession.
Brexit will also have secondary effects based on its aftermath and the reaction of the economy. The uncertainty is evident if you look at the markets in the UK, there is a downward price trend showing decreasing confidence of investors. Brexit may result in mass layoffs and change in labor market trends that will also affect the ACCA community in the UK and Europe.
Changes in the regulatory environment will also impact the ACCA employment trends significantly. The last few years have seen major changes in regulatory and reporting standards. We saw changes in IFRS 15 (Revenue from Contracts) and IFRS 16 (Leases) that resulted in changes in the way businesses valued their assets and liabilities. The changes also meant that qualified professionals had to be trained to follow the new standards.
Taxation will be another active area of importance when it comes to employment trends. The last 3-4 years have seen a major change in perception of taxation and the role of government in curbing e incidence of tax evasion and tax avoidance. Ever since the release of Panama papers in 2016, the perception of tax management and money laundering has changed and we saw a major change in laws and compliance requirements in many countries. Asset declaration laws were changed and introduced in many countries and this had an impact on taxation.
The demand for tax managers has increased and the average salary of a tax manager has increased by almost 6.7% since 2018 because of the reasons mentioned above. Furthermore, the increased focus on money laundering and terror financing means that taxation practices will change as well to become more transparent and the code of ethics will come into the forefront as tax accountants and managers will be required to lead the change.
The change in the regulatory environment also means that in future the demand for both trainees and qualified accounts will rise. Industry experts say that in future financial management and planning will see a rise in employment as already the demand for individuals in these areas is high and highly technical professionals are in short supply in the market.
All of these changes nicely tie-up with the fact that there is already some momentum going on for integrated reporting and increasing emphasis on environmental, social and governance issues. This means that qualified professional accounts will lead to a change that is happening in the financial world. They will be needed to utilize all of their professional understanding and knowledge to shape the new changes that are taking place and are set to take place.