Embracing Digital Economy: Drivers, Barriers and Factors Affecting Digital Transformation of Accounting Professionals
As their role has evolved dramatically over the years, professional accountants ought to anticipate and accommodate emerging differences in business practices, roles, responsibilities, and regulations, as well as develop the necessary technical knowledge, skills, and ethics, on top of demonstrating interpersonal behaviours and qualities. From big data and data analytics to the internet of things and blockchain, the accounting profession is expected to embrace a new era of digitalization that will change the way traditional accounting practices, from record-keeping to reporting requirements. The role of these professionals will shift and will become highly valued, in a higher chain and moving into new areas and possibilities. Even though some pundits of the industry have predicted that the career of professional accountants will diminish due to automation and cutting-edge technologies, their role in the digital economy is still noteworthy, which then forced them to adapt and adopt the changes to the digital economy, especially during the post Covid-19 era. Most importantly, they are forced to pave the way towards becoming strategic partners of organizations in order to remain relevant. The purpose of the paper is to discuss the changing roles of accountants, barriers for changes and factors that affect readiness of professional accountants in embarking on the digital economy era. The paper is expected to add to the scarce literature on factors influencing professional accountants' readiness to withstand the digital economy, which may shed some light on the challenges that accountants face in blending themselves in as strategic allies for the organisations that they serve. Therefore, the future research may consider more empirical study on factors influencing readiness of accounting professionals towards the implementation of digital economy in Malaysia to better understand how well Malaysian accountants embrace these tremendous changes and prepare themselves in becoming future-fit professionals.
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