Prospects with accounting and finance skills are in high demand, particularly “mature talent” at retirement age who aren’t quite ready to hang up the hat. Small companies are making the most of these hires with huge knowledge share in accounting and are encouraging industry veterans to mentor newcomers.
Pew Research Center data indicates there’s ample hesitation surrounding the idea of robots and AI assuming human tasks, but researchers from MIT and Carnegie Mellon University take care to differentiate between task automation and job automation. They suggest that few, if any, jobs can be fully automated, and instead suggest that executives focus on reducing headcount for menial tasks and replace with high-value strategic opportunities.
Sign of the times: A decade ago, Walmart wanted to own a bank so it could cut interchange fees, and bankers fought back tooth and nail. Now, Amazon wants to offer checking accounts and banks are interested in partnering with them, showing just how much fintechs have changed the payments ecosystem for the better.
Accountants as “information engineers?” That’s what Gary Hecht, Associate Professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign shares as his definition of what accountants really do outside of their perceived roles as keepers of the company budget. While they haven’t always had a strategic seat at the table, Hecht suggests a broader application for accounting’s future, including “creating and communicating information that facilitates and influences decisions made across the organization.”
Electronic payments in the business world are emerging as the antidote to the long-outdated use of paper checks to pay suppliers. The Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis’ Business Payments Coalition is relying on help from the corporate sector to promote electronic B2B payment, calling for the creation of a directory to standardize payment information and make it easier for businesses to quickly and efficiently pay suppliers.