Accounting Career Trends

Accounting careers in the 21st century are becoming very different from their predecessors. Accountancy is diversifying and evolving very rapidly, and the jobs are diversifying and specializing across the financial and business sectors.

Basic accountancy remains fundamentally similar to its traditional roles. However, it’s worth taking a look at trends in accounting careers, which are becoming far more flexible and providing many more opportunities than in the past.

The evolution of the workplace into a much more advanced and far more variegated economic dynamic has drastically altered the nature of accountancy. The accountant’s business client may now have multiple businesses. The taxation accountant’s salary earner may have multiple sources of income, each of which relates to different taxation laws.

These changes have led to natural adaptions in accountancy practices, which have had to be diversified to service markets. The corporate world is also contributing to these changes. Some corporations now outsource their administration, including payroll and accounts, on contracts. Many small businesses also use their local accountant's office as their accounts office, minimizing administration costs.

Some “accounting” firms have become franchises, operating as administrators as well as accountancy services, integrating their services. These firms provide full service to businesses, with their accountants each doing the work of several old-style accountants.


Technological developments have greatly altered accountancy. Many forms of software now operate in the accounts field, producing tax returns, managing cash books, operating invoice systems and generating financial reports.

Ironically, so far from the old science-fiction threat of automation replacing human beings, accounting technology has been creating a steady demand for more accountants. The spread of technology into the workplace and employment markets has generated so much more business that even with systems that can do the work of ten or more old-style accountants, accountants are one of the most common types of workers in the world.

Business Opportunities for Accountants

With these different booms in accountancy have come a lot more job options. Specialist accountancy roles are big business. Some previously almost unknown roles, like forensic accounting, are now extremely high profile within the profession. Many accountants can operate independent businesses, using networks of professional contacts and working in both general accountancy and specialist roles. Technology has created a range of career options for accounting practices.

The logistics of modern accountancy are also transforming the profession. Where an entire organization was required previously, an accountant and a trained part-time assistant can now do the same work. The profitability of the business is considerably higher and far more efficient. Many local accountants operate on this basis, some working from home with almost no overhead.

Some accountants provide multiple forms of service, working remotely for some clients and on site for others, on a needs' basis. They can also expand their businesses easily, delegating work to their own contract employees or external staff.

This is only the beginning of the new era of accounting. The finance, business and global markets are creating new forms of business and trading that will continue the evolution of the profession. Don’t be surprised if someone starts advertising, “See the world--become an accountant” on the Internet before too long.