Accountants in mid-level staff support positions must continue to reinvent themselves in order to provide meaningful data analysis to the management they support. As software systems have evolved, many companies found themselves investing in software over a decade ago with the advent of Y2K. As a result of competitive cost pressures, organizations may not have the opportunity to keep pace with the investing cycle. Consequently, these companies are unable to take advantage of new economies of scale from the latest software features.
However mid-level staff must play an important role to enable the organizations to keep pace with competition. Mid-level staff can do this by utilizing data mining tools such as Excel, Access, Domo, Crystal Reports and other report writing and data mining tools. By utilizing data mining tools staff can come up with advanced ways to look at complex data outside of the accounting system when these accounting systems do not provide the data in the format required by management. Staff can set up queries, pivots, VLOOKUP’s, If then, and sumif equation’s in order to accommodate analysis for decision making that moves beyond the confinements of the organizations accounting software system. This becomes especially true if nomenclature of master file level data changes and cannot accommodate analysis by your traditional accounting system. There may also be industry, customer and vendor changes in requirements that cause companies to work outside their accounting software systems. For these reasons it is very wise for staff accounting personnel to keep pace with the innovative data mining tools and methodologies available in the market place, in order to provide meaningful data analysis to top level and mid-level management.
This process of educating mid-level staff is also very important to Management. Management must make sure its workforce is well trained, aware of these issues, and how to deal with them. Solutions for such outcomes are simple education, mentoring and collaboration. Knowledge workers must share and be encouraged to share capabilities with each other in order to raise the knowledge level of all staff. Corporate Human Resources and Executive level staff must engage in this process in order to achieve their desired results to remain competitive in today’s ever changing business environment.