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ACCG315 – Accountants in the Profession

Reflection 1 – Accounting Profession – Part A

1. When you think of the accounting profession what comes to your mind?

When thinking of the accounting profession, there are many sectors accompanying it. I could
immediately list out sectors such as traditional financial and management accounting as well
as tax and audit services. Other fragments of this profession comprise of business advisory and
consulting which are also significantly important nowadays. There are different legally
professional accounting bodies in Australia such as the Institute of Public Accountants (IPA),
the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Australia (ICAA) and CPA Australia (CPA).
Furthermore, I also think of the Big Four accounting firms: KPMC, Deloitte, Ernst & Young
(EY) and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) which I always dream of working for one of these
firms in the future.

2. What contextual factors do you think could influence the accounting profession?

Throughout the time studying my degree of Accounting, I have been aware that there are
several contextual factors that can affect the accounting profession beside accounting standards
from accounting bodies or regulators such as AASB, IFRS, APRA and ASIC. These factors
consist of economical and pollical changes, globalization and technologies. For instance, while
technological development is transforming traditional accounting to a more automated one
thanks to the usefulness of accounting software programs and cloud computing, a research from
the University of Oxford has indicated that 95 percent future accountants might lose their jobs
due to automation (Holtzman, 2019). Particularly, three innovative technologies that most
likely to impact accounting firms are big data analytics, blockchain technology and artificial
intelligence (Holtzman, 2019). In addition, a change in perception of sustainability and social
responsibility of an organization can also influence the accounting profession.

3. Describe the people you expect to interact with as an accountant.

An accountant is expected to interact with various stakeholders and maintain the expectation
in the ways that he or she must protect their norms within the business, be ethical and act
legally in the best interests of both the organization and clients. In particular, an accountant
might interact with fellow employees in the company, financial institutions, suppliers, clients
and auditors. Different type of jobs and levels of expectation are depending on whom the
accountant is interacting with. For example, an accountant must provide management staffs
with accurate and faithful information for decision making purposes or understand and
practice the laws lawfully when lodging tax return.

4. What role do you think you should play in contributing to your community as an
accountant?

As an accountant, I have to ensure that my role is to provide faithful, relevant and accurate
financial information in order to assist users of information including managers, investors and
other stakeholders in making decisions. In accordance with the Association of Chartered
Certified Accountants (ACCA, 2010, p.9), the role of accountants has been increasingly
requiring specialization and technical or analytical skill as the result of the technological
development. Thus, as an accountant, I am now able to concentrate on gaining more knowledge
about these skills rather than spend time on tasks that have been automatically done such as
creating financial statements or data entry.

Another role of an accountant is to maintain integrity by refusing to carry out any instructions
that I believe are unethical or against the standards/laws. In addition, when there is a suspected
activity that might be illegal, my responsibility is to bring this to the attention of the responsible
managers or the public so as to ensure various stakeholders not be affected.

5. What might the clients and fellow employees expect of you as an accountant?

Firstly, I think clients and fellow employees might expect me as an accountant to work ethically
and in the best interest of the organization in order to assist the process of decision making and
protect the business reputation by following the required accounting standards and codes of
conduct, as well as providing relevant and faithful information.

Secondly, as the accounting profession has been rapidly changing in this automation era, there
may be expectations that an accountant should be proficient in using accounting software
programs and have other analytical skills and technical skills.

6. What skills do you think you should possess to be a successful accountant?

According to ACCA (2010, p.5), there is a gap between the skills an accountant in organization
or external candidate has and the skills recruiters need. These skills include:

 Communication skills,
 Analysis skills,
 Leadership skills,
 Time management skills
 Team building skills,
 and Presentation skills,

In addition, technical skills including using Excel and other accounting software such as
BGL360 or Class are crucial nowadays. Moreover, the importance of demonstrating ethical
awareness and behaviours and exercising professional judgements is proved to remain or even
be higher in the future (ACCA, 2010, p.13). I think enhancing these skills mentioned earlier
would be the key to success if I pursuit the career as an accountant.

Reference list:

ACCA (2010). A Changing Profession? The Evolution of Accounting Roles, Skills and Career
Aspirations, pp.5, 9, 13.

Holtzman, Y. (2019). Automation: Don't panic!. [online] Accounting Today. Available at:
https://www.accountingtoday.com/opinion/3-key-automation-areas-that-will-improve-
accounting-jobs [Accessed 4 Aug. 2019].