IN the ever-changing digital world, it’s not uncommon for people to assume that their jobs could be replaced by future technologies like artificial intelligence (AI).
It is no different for future accountants, as many believe the profession will soon become obsolete due to advances in technology and computer software.
However, the executive director of the Sunway TES Center for Accountancy Excellence, Professor Teo Ee Sing, said this is “far from the truth” as the demand for professional accountants has never been higher, despite recent technological developments.
“The belief that accountants will be replaced by AI is a misconception. It’s not, it’s not like that at all.
“Foreign firms still welcome so many graduates in professional accounting, especially those who have been trained by large firms. They are in high demand,” he said.
Prof Teo added that accountants who obtain professional certification can also easily move abroad for work, with many opportunities available for qualified professionals in the sector.
He said Sunway TES has graduates working all over the world, with accountants in demand “all over the world”, even in affluent places like Dubai and London, and countries like Singapore, Spain and China. .
Prof Teo, who set up Sunway TES 28 years ago, said accounting work will also become much more streamlined, with AI playing a major role in assisting accountants in their day-to-day tasks.
“Common stereotypes are still that accounting is boring, repetitive and there is no work-life balance.
“But modern accountants don’t have to go through that anymore. AI will help accountants in many ways, from fast and accurate data processing to improving the quality of data analysis,” he said.
He also said that the role of accountants is still very necessary, as they will be more involved in looking at the “big picture” by providing financial advice and calculating the financial situation of their clients, as well as in putting more emphasis on aspects such as analysis.
“If you were to go to an accounting firm in the past, you would be able to see piles and piles of files and documents. But that’s not the case now with cloud computing systems and AI,” he said.
Professor Teo further mentioned that the preparation to become a modern accountant can be completed at Sunway TES at Sunway College, mainly due to the fact that the institution keeps close contact with companies such as PwC, EY, KPMG, BDO and Deloitte.
This is to ensure that Sunway TES graduates are fully equipped to enter the professional world of accounting.
“We have constant engagement with companies to find out if our graduates meet their requirements, if they lack skills or if there are abilities they need to improve,” he said.
“Our students are well equipped for the digital age and they can start their career as soon as they join a company. The company doesn’t need to spend a lot of time training them to get them ready to work.
Professor Teo shared that this is also due to the fact that Sunway TES uses a number of real-life scenarios in its educational programs, such as the audit simulation, which requires students to undertake a week-long audit task. which will be rated by industry professionals.
He said Sunway is also placing more emphasis on developing integral soft skills for its students, such as problem solving, time management, communication and business acumen, in addition to training them in the latest practices. commercial.
Professor Teo also said he hoped more young school leavers would consider going into accountancy as the number of students enrolling in accountancy courses has declined in recent years, partly due to the misconception about the profession and AI.
Sunway TES offers a number of accounting programs and courses such as Association of Chartered Accountants (ACCA), ACCA Foundation in Accounting (ACCA FIA), Certificate in Finance, Accounting and Business (CFAB), and Institute chartered accountants in England and Wales. (ICAEW).
For more information on Sunway TES Center for Accountancy Excellence, visit https://my.sunway.edu.my/sunctes/