Over the past ten years, the basic tenets of accounting have not changed drastically – an accountant is still responsible for the important task of identifying revenue and calculating expenses, and ensuring that their client abides by the appropriate standards and regulations. However, it’s when it comes to regulations, and methods that an accountant’s day looks very different than it did ten years ago.
Since the early 2000s, Accountants have had to confront a huge number of regulatory differences and additional areas of interest.
Widespread Use of Accounting Technology
In the early 2000s, cloud technology was just beginning to make its way into the mainstream. Today, it’s the norm. Storing information safely and securely in the cloud makes it possible for accountants to work from anywhere, with clients from all over the world. Gone are the days of dropping off bankers boxes at your accountants, and pouring over invoice after invoice. The cloud enables both accountants and clients to remotely access a specific file in just moments from wherever they are!
With this increased reliance on technology has come elevated insights. Decades ago, accountants relied on charts, ledgers, and handwritten records to get a better idea of a company’s financials. Now, accounting software comes fully equipped with dozens of report styles to suit every possible situation. Assessing areas of improvement and financial successes has never been so simple.
The 2000s have seen some of the world’s most shocking financial scandals and conditions. In 2002, the entire Accounting Services industry declared a 4% decrease in operating revenue – the first time in decades that the industry did not report an increase. Fast forward to 2003 however, and after a year of Canadian accounting scandals the industry reported a 6.4% increase!
Businesses across the world vividly remember the widespread recession that began in 2008. Amidst the recession, scandals in both banks and private corporations affected everyone, leading to the largest bailout in US history. As a result, everyone is experiencing increased financial scrutiny making accountants are more necessary than ever. Ensuring that a company remains compliant, and abides by financial best practices is crucial to the long term success of any business.
Today, accountants are regulated by a number of boards who are constantly updating the regulations. Due to our world’s increasing globalization, and continued collaboration across borders, rules surrounding US-Canadian accounting practices continue to be an important area of study.
Not only have regulations and the technology used by accountants to serve their clients changed over the past ten years, but so have the clients themselves. The owners and managers at businesses across Canada are more diverse than ever before. As the Baby Boomer generation ages, a younger generation is eager to accept more responsibility. As a result, accountants are dealing with younger professionals more every single day. Furthermore, employees in small businesses are wearing more hats than ever before. As a result, accountants are liaising with office administrators and CEOs alike to accomplish a company’s accounting needs.