How Management Accountants Can Lead Digitalization
By Paulus Chau
As COVID-19 has pushed digitalization in several areas, including accounting and finance, finance professionals worldwide expect to be digitally literate and competent.
“Due to the pandemic and rapid technological advancement, digital skills and literacy are now considered in all aspects of business,” said Munkhbayar Byambadash, president at the University of Finance and Economics of Mongolia (UFE).
Driven by their sound financial knowledge and first-class leadership skills, management accountants can quickly adapt and thrive in this continually changing digital landscape. The Chartered Global Management Accountant®(CGMA®) designation through the CGMA® Finance Leadership Program offers aspiring management accountants to guide Mongolian organizations into this newly transformed digital age.
Digitalization in Mongolia
The pandemic rapidly changed the already transforming technological landscape and underscored the importance of digital literacy within the business context.
“Robotic process automation, artificial intelligence, and big data all changed the conceptual framework of the traditional accounting and finance profession,” said Byambadash.
“Mongolia is not the most developed or high-tech country in the world,” added Altansukh Dalanbayar, FCMA, CGMA, CEO of BDO Mongolia, a CIMA® member. Dalanbayar is hopeful of the country’s future in this digital landscape but acknowledges that adaptation won’t happen overnight.
“Digitalisation is an ongoing process, and it requires tremendous effort, knowledge, and skills from every single person within a company or education institution,” Dalanbayar added.
New approaches to supply chains, customer interactions, data security policies, working environments, crisis planning, and more have all been affected by COVID-19’s forced and accelerated digitalization. Higher-learning institutions also need to adapt quickly.
“Any higher-education institution that provides education on finance and accounting skills is facing a challenge to develop technology-embedded programs,” Byambadash said. “Additionally, they need to prepare individuals with interdisciplinary knowledge and capability to develop themselves continuously.”
Management Accountants Lead Transitions
Digitalization exists in the accounting and finance realm, and the profession must keep pace and adapt. Digital skills are also necessary for a global workforce.
Dalanbayar said that Mongolian accountants need to understand blockchain and cryptocurrencies, data mining thoroughly, and data analytics to compete internationally. “Along with them, I think that universities or professional organizations should pay more attention to the soft skills of professionals,” added Dalanbayar.
A career in management accounting allows finance professionals into this ongoing digital evolution. Officially, management accountants help businesses all over the world manage their finances. But they are business leaders, innovators, decision-makers and forecasters. Management accountants are in all kinds of companies, public and private.
Day to day, management accountants interpret financial data, prepare reports, and use business knowledge to help business leaders make strategic decisions. They’ll always look to the future and help businesses discover ways to improve the company, grab every opportunity for innovation, and help drive success.
Adaptability will be key to remaining competitive on the international stage and ensuring the long-term sustainability of the accounting and finance profession.
“Internationally recognized designations such as the CGMA designation indicate to employers that the designation holder has acquired relevant knowledge, skills, and experience,” said Dalanbayar. “The designation holder has more opportunities to be hired by larger companies.”
In this continually changing digital landscape, management accountants can use their adept skill set and knowledge to lead their organizations into the future.
Enrolment within the CGMA® Finance Leadership Program is open to students or professionals interested in furthering their finance careers with its guided, digital-first learning format. Additionally, the program is an option for students and alumni of UFE.
“Whilst content and intended learning outcomes of the traditional accountancy are mainly dominant in accounting and reporting,” said Byambadash, “this international program is aimed to develop technical, business, management, and individual skills and capabilities based on three main pillars: finance, performance, and enterprise.”
About the author
Paulus Chau is Director of Hong Kong and emerging markets at the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants and represents AICPA & CIMA