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The transformation of the accounting profession in the United States: From information processing to strategic business advising

Yair Holtzman (Tax/Management Consultant, New York, USA)

Journal of Management Development

ISSN: 0262-1711

Article publication date: 1 December 2004

Abstract

This paper will demonstrate that the continuous evolution of the accounting profession is in response to the major problems and regulations that exist in any given period. This metamorphosis yields opportunities, challenges, and sometimes results in stark contradictions that the profession must struggle with in order to go forward. The accountant has undergone a dramatic change during the 20th century. The transition from a bookkeeping and tax preparation role to one of a strategic management consultant has been dramatic. Accountants have moved from the back office to the front office. They have often redefined their roles from information processors to strategic business advisors. The key drivers that brought about this change in role include mass production, increased competition among accounting firms, advances in information technology, saturation in the audit service market, pressures on audit service partners, globalization, and the ever changing regulatory environment. This paper examines these changes in light of the challenges of the profession during the early 21st century.

Keywords

Citation

Holtzman, Y. (2004), "The transformation of the accounting profession in the United States: From information processing to strategic business advising", Journal of Management Development, Vol. 23 No. 10, pp. 949-961. https://doi.org/10.1108/02621710410566856

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited