Understanding Accountants


By and large, accounting is nothing more than the organizational unit of a company that deals with the recording of all business operations – and, of course, predominantly on the basis of expenses and revenues. In addition to the role as an essential source of information – or empirically based assessment of success – for the management and numerical image of the company, the accounting also serves the legal authorities, or their information requirements

Nonetheless, accounting is not to be confused with controlling, even though many processes and subsections are similar. The tasks of proper accounting are purely documentary in nature, while the controlling deals with the process optimization and the improvement of the cost-benefit ratio in order to ultimately – as well as otherwise – make more profit.

Digitization has fundamentally changed work processes – including accounting. Many processes run automatically today. This presents employees with challenges – but also offers opportunities.

Above all, interim managers who are brought in from outside the company profit from the new flexibility.

In the interview, the Central Transition Manager tells how the digital transformation has affected her profession – and why it is important not to forget the human being.

Accounting today and today: what has changed through digitization?
Where once masses of paper were moved, today electronic workflows take place. This has completely changed the work processes. To give you an example from the practice: Before the digitalization of the bookkeeping, the invoice receipt inspection had to be written down manually, recorded in a table and processed. Today, this process runs automatically .

The employees are getting rid of repetitive and often monotonous tasks – in this I see one of the biggest advantages of the digital transformation. Accountants today more than ever take over a controlling function.

Thanks to digitization, processes can be understood much faster and better, even across departmental boundaries. In addition , the error rate decreases, if carefully worked from the beginning. That makes accounting more transparent. It’s the chance to put off the stale image – to more openness.

Digitalization has also changed the job profile of the accountant. What skills do applicants have to bring with them today?
Knowledge of standard software such as common office programs or conference tools is simply a must for job applicants in the finance sector today, alongside their technical skills.

In addition, candidates who speak a second language have much better opportunities in the labor market. Businesses are becoming more connected and more international – as a rule, German alone is simply no longer enough. Especially accountants who speak fluent English are desperately wanted.

In addition to these requirements, soft skills such as the communication skills of applicants are important. To clean up with old stereotypes: The classic accountant no longer exists – the little gray mouse that hides behind its inputs.

Today, the bookkeeper takes the role of a business partner who thinks outside the box, actively talking to other departments and recognizing needs. It takes a good deal of curiosity and the willingness to adapt to the new quickness.