Accounting is relevant in all ways of life, especially in the field of business. The business world needs information that will help decision-makers make informed choices. The objective of accounting is to provide that useful information.
The contribution of accounting in the business world is vital. It is essential because without it, people in business would struggle to plan and strategize their next course of action, affecting many of us.
Accounting, being connected to our lives, changes when ways of life change. As much as accounting has an impact in our life, it is also affected by the shifts that our lives undergo.
As the world becomes more complex, accounting has to keep up to continuously provide the needs of the users of accounting information. Accounting evolved through the years and continuously evolves in response to the developments of our society and economy. Consequently, the accountants, skills and capabilities have intensely changed through the years.
However, adjusting with the changes can prove to be difficult when a global crisis hits unexpectedly. When the World Health Organization (WHO) confirmed a global pandemic, major proportion of the world's countries was forced to adopt emergency measures.
Businesses suffered lost profits, while financial markets are volatile and restless. Global supply chains experience instability which exposed the weaknesses of organizations. During such unprecedented times, where disruptions and changes in businesses arise, immediate action and adaptive measures are demanded from the accounting field.
Businesses are in the risk of bankruptcy. Professional accountants' roles and abilities must adapt in response to the demands of the external environment, as they provide strategic advice to help businesses stay afloat and ensure their going concern. Changes during the pandemic require new considerations and adjustments on the side of the accountants.
The pandemic changed significant aspects in our lives. In order to stop the virus from spreading further, governments around the world have devised and implemented measures, especially lockdowns and curfews. Accountants and the organizations they belong to must adapt quickly. Every employee, even accountants, started the work from home set-up. The accountant’s home became their workplace instead of their desks or offices in their company building.
The accountant’s workplace is considered to be the most digitized in businesses nowadays. It has computer, and software items for easier accounting work automation. However, some businesses would still rely on traditional, manual accounting because of the cost. These businesses who still rely on manual systems would need to develop new approach. Further, accountants who used to conduct in-person client services have to settle with alternatives due to remote working.
Additionally, governments have also established contingency plans and put in place support measures to minimize and mitigate the destructive impact of pandemic in civilians, businesses and economies, in general. Such measures have definitely affected the work of accountants, particularly in accounting and financial reporting requirements.
Accountants should reconsider and assess how they can stay relevant and adapt to new conditions and situations in order to be properly prepared for uncertainties. However, questions arise whether accountants can keep up with the abrupt changes during unexpected situations. Professionals are required to be flexible, especially for accountants to fit with the changing business world. Yet, accountants are challenged with the sudden shift of the requirements of their work due to the pandemic.
Given the changes in the accounting and reporting requirements, it is important to study the situation of accountants during the pandemic. This is to help professional accountants focus on their weaknesses and enhance their productivity. This will give insight to managers and business to help them take action on assisting accountants during this unprecedented times. For authorities regulating the profession, this will give them the basis to make resolutions. For accountancy students, this study will help them know what to expect on the future profession and this will also help the academe to possibly integrating the changes during the pandemic to the accountancy education. Overall, this study will provide benefit to the society as accountants have a big role in keeping it going.
Lead image edited in Canva.