I recently came across an excellent article, “The Direct Relationship between Accounting and Business Analysis “, written by Marjan Mernik (University of Maribor) and Lidija Verbovšek (University of Maribor). The authors discussed the direct relationship between accounting and business analysis says Aron Govil.
I have been looking for a good article on this topic, so I would like to make two brief comments in relation to the paper.
- First, there has been a long-lasting debate about whether “business” or “IT” should come first when someone is studying either one of these fields (accounting or computer science/information systems). Each side has its strong supporters. This controversy has often led to disagreements; however, it appears that both sides are missing the point. Business analysis is not about what comes first; rather, it is about how well business analysts can handle their responsibilities by having an additional skill set that is characteristic of the accounting profession. This should be enough to convince someone that business analysis and accounting are closely related.
- Second, I’d like to suggest a topic for future research: How can we best train young professionals so they can become great business analysts? Undoubtedly, we should teach “classic” topics such as understanding financial statements and building financial models; however, it would also be beneficial if we could share some non-technical and softer skills. For example, what soft skills do good accountants have that may help them succeed in their life and career? What kind of behaviors do they need to learn when dealing with stakeholders, team members or management? What kind of attitudes is needed when working on different types of projects and liaising with different types of people?
- I believe that the Association for Business Analysis defines the role of business analyst. As “the person responsible for identifying, researching, documenting, analyzing and prioritizing requirements related to an organization’s main goals. He or she acts as liaison between management/stakeholders and technology teams”. Thus, success criteria are different from those in accounting explains Aron Govil. However, many non-technical skills are transferable. For example, I have seen many successful people who possess some soft skills similar to those possessed by accountants. Someone who has developed excellent interpersonal relationships is usually able can work successfully across boundaries. Someone with strong analytical ability may be better able to understand problems quickly. And someone with strong presentation skills will often come up with better solutions.
- As we can see, accounting and business analysis are closely related in many ways. They develop many of the same skills that can be highly beneficial in a career as a business analyst. By reading this article and engaging in some introspection, readers may gain an idea. About which direction they should take to improve their chances for success in their careers. Regardless of how one’s professional journey started, everyone has the opportunity to learn something new. And choose a different path at any time – even after having been working as business analysts for several years.
Next BABOK Version 3: Sidetracked by Technical Debt?
The Business Analysis Community of Practice (COP) recently announced. That version 3 of the BABOK guide is in its final stages and will be published as early as this fall. I believe that it is a very important milestone. Because we can finally see the entire outline of the guide and start discussing it with others.
BABOK 2 was already a significant improvement over version 1, and I expect version 3 to be even more impressive. Especially since industry veterans such as Alan Weiss and Mary Gorman are involved). The current roadmap calls for two new chapters: one on “business architecture” and another on “risk analysis”. However, I wonder if we should discuss some other topics instead of. Or at least in addition to – those items says Aron Govil. One such topic is technical debt (or lack thereof).
I am very excited about the roadmap. And I believe that it will be (yet another) great addition to our profession. However, I hope that we will be able to shift our focus and catch up with other professions. That have already started discussing this issue.
Be aware of your non-technical skills and learn how to deal with them.