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Upskilling is key to accounting profession

Written on Apr 20, 2023

By Jessica Salerno-Shumaker, senior content manager  

The skills necessary to succeed today have evolved, said one corporate accountant, and it’s the responsibility of everyone in the profession to upskill accordingly.   

“Knowing how to do the technical bits of accounting are important,” said Jason Weigand, senior director for North America Tax for Proctor & Gamble. “But it’s about knowing how to do that in a way that is efficient, such as using modern technology to analyze big datasets. That is becoming increasingly important in all aspects of what we do.”  

Weigand joined The State of Business podcast to discuss how he sees workforce development evolving in the profession from the perspective of a corporate accountant. He said it’s crucial for CPAs to understand technology, as that’s a regular discussion with key business partners.  

Another area Weigand mentioned as being crucial for skill development is the ability to effectively communicate. 

“It's a constant area of learning and growth opportunity for everybody,” he said. “I've been doing this for 23 years, and I still get feedback on how to more effectively communicate.” 

P&G is aware of the talent crisis for accounting, Weigand said, especially because the competition to hire accountants can be intense. The reporting requirements that are updated regularly mean they are looking for people who are passionate about the work and understand all of the nuances required.   

“This should be a great opportunity for folks who want to get in the profession because it means that they're going to move into a very rewarding career, a career where they should have the opportunity to learn a lot of things,” Weigand said. 

Weigand said he looks at workforce development in two steps. The first step is considering how to create a broad pool of candidates who have the right skills to succeed in the profession.  

“The second step I think about is once we get folks interested, then how do we continue to develop the workforce so they can be successful and meet the challenges of an evolving working environment,” he said.  

Weigand said it’s necessary for “all stakeholders to participate,” to see success.  

“We need to continue as the profession to invest in ourselves,” he said. “We need to explain to people the opportunities, the benefits and the challenges of the profession. If we continue to do that, then I think the profession will be just fine.”  

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