Embracing Abilities over Disabilities into Accountancy Industry: How the accounting profession can become and lead the way for diversity and inclusion around the world.
You might be surprised that the accounting profession welcomes differently abled people like no other sector. Accounting firms have adopted inclusive policies. As a result, they employ people from the marginalized groups to expand their workforce. How does it benefit them? Well, they can utilize the increased human resources, creativity, productivity, and problem-solving skills.
At the same time, individuals with disabilities are also benefiting from these employment opportunities. Other than accounting, many professions in the finance department have inclusive work policies.
Let’s see how you, as a differently abled individual, can get job opportunities in this industry!
Why is the Accounting Profession Embracing Inclusivity?
The accounting industry is known for its modern, inclusive values. You will find dozens of success stories of people with disabilities about how they climbed to the top with limited resources. The sector now facilitates these marginalized groups and offers equal opportunities. Its new inclusive policies prohibit discrimination against differently abled people.
But why is that? Let’s have a look!
The unemployment rate in the different-abled community is alarming. Industrialized countries have understood this fact and decreased this rate to 60%-70%. However, developing countries still lack the opportunities to accommodate people with disabilities, increasing their unemployment rate to 90%.
The accounting industry has played a positive role in this competitive market. It has provided many job opportunities to the differently abled population worldwide. This action empowers other sectors as well to take similar steps. That is why we have seen the employment rate of people with disabilities grow drastically from last year.
Accounting itself is an accessible profession for people with disabilities. Why is that? Firstly, it doesn’t require extensive experience and academic background. A bachelor’s degree can land you an accountant job at a firm. The skills you need for this job are basic finance and math.
Additionally, accounting is a profession with minimal to no mobility. Since you don’t have to move frequently, physically impaired individuals are more inclined to join this industry. Other benefits include job security, 40-hour weekly work, an average salary of $62,134, and opportunities for promotion.
More than 46% of accountants are more comfortable with working from home. Moreover, 79% of the staff prefer a hybrid model. Either way, the last two years have seen a rise in remote accounting. Today, many platforms offer accounting jobs and freelancing opportunities, like Fiverr and Upwork.
Additionally, remote accounting is comparatively more suitable for accountants with disabilities. It lets them work in a familiar environment without worrying about unfacilitated transport and workplace issues. Plus, it helps them utilize technology, like cloud accounting, to its full extent. These tools and technologies are significantly helpful for the differently abled as they can make the job more accessible.
How Can a Person with Disabilities Work in Accounting?
We have seen the accounting industry’s perspective of hiring people with disabilities. Let’s say you are an individual from these marginalized groups. So, how can you get a job and work in the accounting profession? Here’s how!
It is important to know that disclosing your disability is required during the interview or hiring process. You can do so with proof (document) of disability issued by the government. It helps the HR administrators to create a facilitated environment where you can work without inconvenience.
Some of the most popular accounting firms offer jobs for people with disabilities. They provide exclusive opportunities and incentives to the differently abled. All you need to do is stay updated with these jobs. Luckily, most of these accounting firms have their own websites. You can check that regularly to find new or open positions for applying.
Now, let’s say you have gotten a job at an accounting firm. Mentally and physically impaired individuals can feel discomfort during their new job’s initial days. However, using technology can make your workload much more manageable.
You have tools like voice recognizers, screen enlargers, speech-to-text converters, task organizers, etc. Similarly, hardware solutions like accessible keyboards can further assist you with the job. You can ask the HR department to facilitate you with these technologies to get more work done efficiently.
This point is equally essential for HR administrators and employees with disabilities. It is an excellent idea to have representation in the workforce. You should have an individual who represents your group. This way, you can demand the facilities required in the workplace or transport.
How Can the Accounting Profession Be More Inclusive?
Now, we know that the accounting industry worldwide is taking steps towards inclusivity. Even though their efforts are effective, there is still much left to do. Let’s see some other ways the profession can take to be more inclusive:
This is a point that many accounting firms are already considering. But it is important to mention that many offices are yet to be made accessible. They lack facilities like gender-neutral toilets, lifts, wheel-chair space, etc. These issues can make a workplace inaccessible for a physically or mentally impaired individual. And the solution to this problem is straightforward. Redesigning a firm’s infrastructure can lead to higher accessibility and an expanded workforce of accountants with disabilities.
In regular transport services, the accessibility feature is commonly missing. According to a survey by the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, 12% of the disabled population doesn’t get the facilitated transport services they need. Plus, many employees with disabilities don’t have parking or pedestrian facilities. These problems can make the differently abled persons work in a physical office.
An accounting firm doesn’t just need accountants with disabilities. It needs to hire leaders from these marginalized groups. Why is that? Well, only a differently abled individual can understand the needs of another. That is why it is extremely important to recruit employees with disabilities for higher positions.
One realistic example is expanding your HR department by including people with disabilities. They can assist the differently abled workforce by empowering and facilitating them.
We have seen the rise of inclusivity in different industries. Accounting has been a prominent profession that embraces marginalized groups in its workforce. Even though it has been effective thus far, we need even better policies crafted by accounting firms. As mentioned earlier, hiring people with disabilities in leadership positions is a MUST. And that is only possible if your firm allows it.
Governments should also play a bigger role in empowering a country’s population with disabilities. It will help them take the first step and apply for job positions. With better policies, these people can secure these jobs and start working on the frontlines. As a result, it will empower even more unemployed individuals with impairments, creating a cycle.
This way, a country will benefit from a better economy with maximum inclusion.
The Role of Governments in Making Accounting Inclusive
You might be wondering, are the governments playing any role in promoting inclusivity in accounting? The short answer is yes! The governments of several countries have raised their voices for the DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion). It is a program that aims to provide equal work opportunities for people of marginalized groups. That includes individuals of different ethnicity, race, gender, and ability.
The UK is an excellent example of this case. Almost all major accounting firms in the UK agree on DEI in accounting. They understand hiring individuals with disabilities will provide better opportunities, representation, and services. This way, they can better serve their customers as well as employees. Since almost all the accounting firms are together in this case, the government also supports DEI.
Australia has also implemented its DDA (Disability Discrimination Act) in various sectors, including accounting. It gives the government the right to act on discrimination and stereotyping against people with disabilities in the workplace, educational institute, or transport services.
The Inclusivity in Other Financial Professions
Accounting is not the only profession in the financial industry to become inclusive. Other sectors aiming for diversity include audit and taxation. How are they included, and why? Let’s answer these questions.
Taxation is an emerging industry with financial inclusion incentives. Today, this sector employs a large workforce of employees with disabilities. A tax income officer has many perks, including a handsome salary. Moreover, commissions and bonuses make this job more lucrative for a broader audience.
The best part is that taxation work is easy to handle. You need basic to intermediate skills in data analysis and collection. Furthermore, preparing and managing tax sheets, returns, and statements doesn’t require an expert. Modern technologies and software solutions have made these tasks easier. You have tools, like Excel, to prepare tax returns and sheets. This sector is getting even more advancements with cloud computing, machine learning, artificial intelligence, and Robotic Process Automation (RPA).
Audit is one of the most accessible and inclusive work sectors. Why is that? There are several reasons. Firstly, this industry has an easy entry point, requiring a bachelor’s degree in finance. Plus, you only need knowledge of finance and math’s to master auditing work. The tasks involved in this job are mostly centered around reviewing an organization’s financial matters.
An auditor makes an excellent yearly salary with commissions, bonuses, and promotions. People with disabilities will find this task more suitable as it doesn’t require frequent movement. Plus, remote auditing has skyrocketed in the past few years. Tools like Zoom and Skype help auditors connect with a company for auditing. Plus, sharing channels like email and cloud storage like Drive has helped manage an organization’s essential documents.
Many people with disabilities aim to be auditors due to the ease of the job. Furthermore, many national and private organizations offer exclusive benefits to these marginalized groups. For instance, the hiring process is facilitated, and some positions are reserved for differently abled individuals.
The first step is to create an accessible hiring process with online forms. Secondly, revamp your firm’s policy to make it more inclusive. During the interview, you should ask the accountant to disclose their proof of disability with the official document. Plus, you can ask them for their suggestions to make the workplace more facilitated and accessible for them.
If your accounting firm has accountants with disabilities, that’s an excellent thing. You can empower this workforce by providing them with an accessible infrastructure, working environment, and transport facilities. You can also utilize technology to make accounting more manageable for these people. Consider revising your firm’s policy according to modern standards of diversity. These steps will make your accounting firm accessible for people with disabilities.
Yes, the accounting firm has been welcoming accountants with disabilities. They offer various facilities and technological advancements to streamline the workload. Plus, you get equal opportunities and perks as other employees. Industry is adopting technologies like big data, blockchain, machine learning, cloud-based solutions, automation, and artificial intelligence. They make the workload more manageable and efficient for an accountant with disabilities.
And that brings us to the end of this detailed guide on accounting and its inclusivity. This policy shift has shown great potential for the unemployed population with opportunities. It will empower them to join the workforce in major accounting firms. Today, you have many examples of successful accountants with disabilities working in the industry. These success stories are excellent for differently abled individuals looking for employment opportunities.
Furthermore, accounting firms are also contributing to their country’s economy with this step. They are expanding their workforce in different financial sectors, including taxation and audit. Thus far, the countries that have adopted this inclusivity face a drastically decreased unemployment rate and poverty.
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