February is upon us and prediction season still reigns. This is with good reason—we’re still living in a constant state of change, and 2021 still is throwing us a bit of unpredictability. But there’s reason to believe that readers can get a lot of value from these predictions—January was tumultuous and you may have missed some of the things. 

Therefore, for our readers and members looking to shape their strategies and adjust, we’re excited to highlight a recent article in Accounting Today that looked into the changes accountants and corporate finance professionals will need to navigate.

As discussed in a recent Accounting Today article, accountants and corporate finance professionals will face a lot of change in the coming year. But what should be on your radar and how should you adjust your tactics in the coming months to make the most out of the year? Today, we look to explore some of these trends and provide a variety of resources to succeed.

Megatrend 1: Continued Embrace of Automation

Wit smaller workforces and increasing expectations, automation will continue to drive change in the market.

Accounting Today notes,

“Organizations and their CFOs have to continue to build their balance sheets, continue to invest in the future, build their talent pipeline, invest in automation and analytics, and service that pent up demand,” said Thomson. “Continue to build their teams and service that demand. Invest in technology, RPA and automation tools.”

How to Prepare: Accounting Robots On-Demand

One of our most popular webcasts in 2020, Accounting Robots: How to Automate the Finance Back Office explored the evolution of AI and RPA technology in the accounting space, identifying applications and use cases for accounting and corporate finance.

Featuring a panel of experts that included Chris Siegfried, CFO, Armanino LLP, Christopher Wetmore, Principal of the RSM Technology Advisory Practice, and Nick Ezzo, VP Marketing of Auditoria.AI, this webcast delivered vital insights for the year to come. Watch it on demand here.

Megatrend 2: The Normalization of Remote Work

Remote work has been a big part of 2020, but 2021 will bring new opportunities and challenges to the field. With many organizations looking to embrace a hybrid work model, what does this mean? A little more change.

Planning for the Next Shift in Remote Work

Whether you’re moving to hybrid or expanding your hiring initiative, the new world of remote work is here. Get to know more about making the most out of it here:

Megatrend 3: Keen Eye foe ESG

ESG reporting has grown in popularity as more companies try to demonstrate how they are responding to climate change and social issues in response to investor demands for greater accountability. New focuses like the SASB and the International Integrated Reporting Council will drive change in the landscape as these governing bodies set new expectations for companies.

Get to Know More: ESG Resources from the Controllers Council

Over the past few months, we’ve spent a lot of time talking about the importance of ESG and the ways to embrace change in your reporting. Get to know more about making this work for you be reading the resources below.

Megatrend 4: Finance’s Newfound Accountability for Enterprise Risk Management

Along with ESG issues, accountants will also be dealing more with enterprise risk management as they cope with challenges like the impact of COVID-19 and other disasters on their organizations.

“With enterprise risk management, organizations are trying to be more anticipatory of disasters,” said Thomson. “You can’t foresee a specific disaster, but you certainly should be building business continuity planning, disaster recovery and remote work policies.”

Megatrend 5: Increasing Demands for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Another year, another call for improvement. With the growth of the Black Lives Matter movement last year, organizations are seeing a greater need to increase their diversity efforts as they upskill their workers. “Diversity, equity and inclusion are critical differentiators for organizations in the race for relevance of our profession,” said Thomson. 

Get to Know the Black C-Suite: On-Demand Webinar

A continued trend and challenge for businesses, we explored the ways you can embrace black and brown professionals in the workplace with a panel of highly esteemed guests. The Black C-Suite: Challenges and Opportunities featured the stories of three black executives who shared their experiences in their journey to the C-Suite while including a panel to discuss ideas and solutions for improving representation. Watch it here.

Megatrend 6: The Upskilling Necessity

Technology continues to change the way that businesses work, and it could leave many professionals on the lower end struggling to keep up. As jobs get automated away, transaction processing or routine repetitive types of jobs potentially get replaced by higher value-added analytics type of jobs, but only if we commit to upskilling and reskilling and diversifying our talent pool.

The Upskilling Imperative and Your Path to Learning

Since our introduction, we have been highlighting the opportunities and need for skills development and talent diversification. Get to know more in our following resources:

Ahead of the Trends? Prove It! Controller of the Year Awards Now Open

If you yawned at this and thought to yourself, “I already know all of this,” good for you! Why not put yourself out there and apply for a Controller of the Year Award? The first annual Controller of the Year Awards™ program recognizes effectiveness and results of Controllers and related roles/titles (CFOs, Chief Accounting Officers, VP Accounting, etc.) by an online nomination process, a screening algorithm*, and a panel of blue-chip judges selects  finalists across six (6) categories. Get to know more about this prestigious award and apply here.