Current Trends in Accounting

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  • 0:03 Changes in Accounting
  • 0:23 Forensic Accounting
  • 1:56 International Business
  • 3:04 The Affordable Care Act
  • 3:38 Advanced Education
  • 4:09 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Tonya Brewer

Tonya has a Master of Science degree in Accounting

In this course, we'll be learning about the current trends in accounting. As the world changes, the accounting world changes with it, as you will see during this lesson.

Changes in Accounting

As with most things in life, the accounting world is ever changing. It was not that long ago that accounting was done by hand with no computers or calculators to help make things easier. Let's look at a few changes that have taken place in accounting recently, including those involving specialized accounting fields, education, and health care.

Forensic Accounting

One growing trend is the arrival of the forensic accountant. With the popular CSI shows and the financial scandals of our times, the forensic accountant popularity has risen greatly. Forensic accountants help to safeguard investors and consumers from the unlawful acts of a company by detecting embezzlement, bribery, money laundering, etc.

A forensic accountant can be used in any size of company and in any industry, and forensic accountants are even used by the FBI to investigate companies or individuals expected of wrongdoings. While there have always been forensic accountants, with the need for more 'watchdogs' in accounting, we are seeing more forensic accountants being used.

There are a few tools that a forensic accountant can use to help detect fraud. For instance, there are software programs that allow accountants to pull information from a company's software/hardware, and the data cannot be changed. This is important because it shows the data has not been tampered during the investigation. Other programs work as skeleton keys to all password-locked data on a computer. Such programs allow the accountant to have full access to all information on the company's computer, even if it is password protected.

These tools allow the forensic accountant to conduct a investigation that is truthful and accurate. You do not have to obtain a special degree or take special classes to become a forensic accountant, but there is additional training and testing if you wish to become certified. You may become a forensic accountant with an accounting degree.

International Business

The other major trend in accounting is international business. With many companies having locations around the world, there is a need for more accountants who are bilingual and also have knowledge of international accounting standards. While GAAP (General Accepted Accounting Principles) is the accounting standard for the United States, other countries use a different method, such as IASB.

IASB stands for International Accounting Standards Board, and these standards are comparable across different countries. Many countries such as Australia, Brazil, Canada, Japan, Russia, and Turkey have adopted these standards. We have to be able to convert their methods back to GAAP for our reporting needs. The conversion from one standard to another standard can be complex, requiring the accountant to put in more time and work.

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