Institute of Management Accountants (IMA) recently released two reports showing the advantages of professional certifications for both employers and employees in an age of digital transformation. Both reports, “Achieving Competitive Advantage in the Digital Age – The Value of Training and Certification” and “Increasing Your Value in the Digital Age – The Impact of Professional Certification”, provide a roadmap based on a global survey conducted by IMA.

How Can Finance Professionals Prepare for Technological Changes in the Industry?

IMA’s “Increasing Your Value in the Digital Age – The Impact of Professional Certification” highlights the advantages for employees to gain professional certifications. Most significantly, the report highlights that the field of management accounting is shifting, and professionals need to be aware of the new skill sets they will be required to have to be able to perform well in high-level positions.

How is Management Accounting Changing?

As robotic process automation, blockchain, big data, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and other new technologies emerge, repetitive processes can be completed quicker and more accurately with a machine rather than an employee. This has led to a significant apprehension within the accounting field, because many traditional accounting jobs be taken over by automation and other digital innovations in just a few years’ time.

On the other hand, increasing technological competence in repetitive tasks has allowed management accountants to add greater value to their organizations. The role of management accountants has largely shifted to be a business leader, taking a key role in supporting decision making and assisting in strategic planning.

The New Role of Management Accountants

With the management accounting role shifting, the responsibilities of the role have shifted as well. Attaining a professional certification allows employers to immediately know that you possess a standardized set of qualifications and digital tools, and it can help boost your future career. Unlike expensive academic programs, professional certifications are less costly, whether your company offers to take on the costs of the certification or you plan to pay for it yourself. Plus, for 40% of organizations, attaining a professional certification is a key decision factor for promotions, and over 50% of survey respondents agreed that a professional certification gives an edge in the job search process.

As the role of financial professionals changes to include more digital technologies, make sure you don’t get left behind. Gaining a professional certification, like the CMA, is a good way to show employers that you are interested in furthering your career and keeping their organization up to date with digital transformation initiatives. Start studying with Surgent CMA Review today!

How Can Organizations Prepare for Digital Transformation in Accounting?

Not only is technological innovation changing the role of employees – it’s also caused a revolution in the business strategy. IMA highlights some of the ways that the business environment is shifting toward new business models in “Achieving Competitive Advantage in the Digital Age – The Value of Training and Certification”. They remark that the most recent move toward digitization, sometimes referred to as Industry 4.0, brings interaction between the company and consumers online through e-commerce, digital marketing, social media, and user experience. This shift means there is more traceable data, regarding information like real-time customer experience, that can be analyzed to make better business decisions moving forward. With an increase in automation, this data can be analyzed more efficiently than ever before.

Ensure Your Employees are “Future-Ready”

As the accounting profession incorporates more automation for repetitive tasks, finance professionals are able to spend more time improving their decision-making skills. Finance professionals can use organizational data to glean greater insights into the business and develop into business partners. However, a majority of survey respondents did not feel their organizations’ finance professionals were well prepared to take on these technological changes.

Since professional certifications show a greater return on investment (ROI) than other forms of education, organizations are increasingly relying on certifications to prepare their employees for the digital experience of the future. When compared to advanced degrees and in-house training programs, professional certifications bear less cost and take less time to provide employees with similar skill sets. Organizations that support professional certification are likely to have a more effective finance function and a finance staff that is more prepared for business transformations due to technological changes compared to organizations that do not support certification.

Meet Your Certified Employees’ Expectations

Yet, from an employee’s perspective, when looking at the desired benefits of professional certification and the actual benefits received, some organizations are not in tune to what their employees require. Encouraging employees to gain professional certifications involves knowing what employees expect once they become certified. Most employees receive “self-satisfaction”, “reimbursement of training costs”, and a “verbal kudos/recognition” after gaining their certification, while the most coveted benefit is “a raise”. Despite the disconnect between certain benefits received vs. desired, the second most desired and received benefit is “greater consideration for a promotion.” As an employer, encouraging employees to seek professional certifications is a great way to make sure they are “future-ready”, but to incentivize employees, ensure that their post-certification desires are being met.

Make sure that your organization is staying at the forefront of the technological revolution by encouraging your employees to gain certifications, like the CMA. With a certified finance staff, your organization will be equipped with the knowledgeable professionals it needs to succeed in an increasingly technological business process. Surgent CMA Review provides training programs that can help your staff gain the CMA. Find out more about how Surgent CMA Review can aid your employees on their path to professional certification.

Certifications are the New Standard

Whether you’re an employee or an employer, the value of professional certifications is irrefutable. As an employee, a professional certification can help to further your career by showing employers that you are at the forefront of your industry and put you in a better position for a promotion. As an employer, hiring certified employees and incentivizing your employees to gain certifications can keep your organization at the forefront of the industry. It is important to keep in mind your employees’ expectations upon completing a certification. By meeting the desires of certified employees, more of your employees will be incentivized to gain their certifications.