Becoming an accountant is an attractive option for millions of people worldwide, with good reason. Since the earliest civilisations, keeping tally of what comes in and what goes out has always been of the utmost importance. Even the onset of computerisation has not changed this fact; accountancy software is only as good as the professionals who use it. In such an important activity, then, those very people could be the weakest link in the upkeep, maintenance and delivery of accountancy services.
High Value of Accountants
The spread of IT systems and the internet have given accountancy an even higher value than it already had. The profession of chartered accountant especially adds another dimension to the traditional view of accountancy as detailed recording of transactions. With the emergence of big data, chartered accountants are now employed to give businesses and public bodies the ability to see into the future; using data as a starting point, they can identify trends in a wide range of activities, and therefore predict how institutions will perform under certain scenarios.
For this to be effective, of course, professional standards must be of a very high order. There are now accepted International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) by which accountancy can be measured, across international boundaries if necessary. When institutions are found to have fallen short of these standards, they face severe penalties, from extremely punishing fines to lower credit ratings and sometimes irreparable reputational damage. Not surprisingly, any job applicant who has attained IFRS level qualifications will find work very quickly.
Background Checks for Accountants
While good accountants are in high demand, they also come with a high level of scrutiny. In the UK, this means that anyone applying for a job in the financial industry will be subject to a Standard DBS Check as accessed on CRB Direct. These checks can only be applied for by potential employers, and the job itself must qualify against very specific criteria. This is because the standard check reports on all convictions in a person’s criminal record, even if they are “spent”. It also shows cautions, reprimands and final warnings issued by the police. Accountancy jobs are deemed to warrant this level of check because they are positions of trust.
Accountancy Jobs After Brexit
The impacts of the UK’s departure from the European Union will be felt for many years to come; one very important impact being that on the British economy. Opinions will always differ over the details of this, but it is certain that the economy will need to adapt to new conditions. In order to do this successfully, a great many private and public businesses will rely heavily on accountants; whether these are in house or contracted out. One result of this changing landscape is likely to be that accountants themselves will also need to react and go where the work is. A good example is the possible migration of financial services out of London.
As more business is carried out over the internet, of course, accountants may not need to actually move home; access to records can now be achieved from most physical locations across the globe. The question of who can access these records is still the issue; and what checks are trusted in different parts of the world. For these purposes, the UK’s DBS service and its Standard check are recognized throughout Western economies.
Post Pandemic Environment
If the Brexit process is having an effect on accountancy recruitment, so too is the economic situation since the covid 19 pandemic. With the resurgence of economic activity after two years of restrictions, many businesses are looking at how they can best progress and plan for the future. For this reason, they need to know exactly where they stand; and accountants can tell them this. There is already evidence in early 2022 of a rise in demand for accountants; this in turn is leading accountancy firms and educational establishments to reach out for potential students. As this can be done online, it is a very popular option, especially among the young.
As these newly qualified accountants come onto the market, employers will still need to check their backgrounds for any criminal activity; again this will inevitably mean a Standard DBS Check, which can be obtained from trusted a trusted third party agency such as CRB Direct. It could be argued that the high demand for accountants post covid makes these checks especially important, as recruiting the wrong person can be very costly indeed.