Are you a conscious accountant?
Written by Thea Krekke
One thing that (hopefully) machines and technology will never be able to take from us is consciousness.
What is consciousness? It's the human ability to experience, recognize, and sense what is happening in one's surroundings with oneself, in the moment and over time.
According to Accounting Norway, accountants need to think more about consciousness in their relationship with clients in the future, as machines and artificial intelligence take over many of the manual, mechanical tasks. Even creativity, knowledge, and a bit of empathy machines have! Being a conscious accountant means having a high level of professionalism, integrity, and ethical awareness in the accountant's tasks.
Even though artificial intelligence has the ability to take on very complex tasks today, emotions, self-awareness, and mental states are still far beyond AI's reach.
Here are 6 tips to become a more conscious accountant (and never be outcompeted by robots!):
1. Increase your professional knowledge:Continue to learn and update yourself on accounting principles, laws, and regulations relevant to your area of work. Attend professional courses, seminars, and workshops, and stay updated on changes in regulations. This will help to strengthen your competence and awareness of professional standards and best practices.
2. Develop ethical awareness:
Familiarize yourself with ethical guidelines for accountants, such as professional organisation ethical rules or standards of good accounting practice. Understand the moral and ethical dilemmas that may arise in the accounting profession and reflect on how you can handle them in a conscious and ethical way.
3. Cultivate analytical skills:
Strengthen your analytical skills to understand and interpret accounting information more consciously. Learn to identify trends, deviations, and potential problems in financial data. Practice analyzing and interpreting financial reports and indicators to provide valuable insights and advice to clients.
4. Be communicative and listening:
Communication is essential in the accounting profession. Be an active listener and pay attention to your clients' needs and concerns. Communicate accounting information clearly and understandably, and be available to answer questions and provide guidance. Clear communication helps build trust and shows your awareness of the client's specific situation.
5. Stay updated on technological advances:
Be aware of the development of accounting-related technologies, such as automation, machine learning, and analytical tools. Explore how these tools can improve and streamline your accounting work. Be conscious of how technology can impact the accounting profession and how you can adapt to the changes.
6. Reflect on your actions and experiences:
Take the time to reflect on your actions as an accountant and evaluate how you can improve. Consider situations that may have challenged your consciousness or ethics, and what you can learn from them.
Throughout history, automation has replaced many tasks, but it has also created new jobs in its wake. While this trend is likely to continue in the foreseeable future, we are faced with an imperative for constant learning and adaptation.
As technology continues to advance, we should all focus on what makes us uniquely human: our emotions and our tireless ability to acquire new knowledge.