While some accounting roles are definitely being replaced by technology as small and medium sized business and accounting firms and practices more commonly choose to automate compliance-oriented services – like preparing financial statements, filing tax returns, and bookkeeping activities –, the time accounting practitioners gain from using technology allows them to generate new income streams in new areas such as providing clients with business advice, or simply taking up more compliance clients.
In the future of the industry, three critical functions within practices will come together in what MYOB calls “the connected practice”, transaction processing, compliance, and business advisory.
MYOB sees a future where, by acting as business advisors, accountants have the chance to actively help their clients grow their business, directly influence their success, and in turn, can fast-track their own firm’s growth.
As business advisors of the connected world, accountants have a lot of work to do in helping their clients use time-saving technology. The latest MYOB Business Monitor report revealed that 55 per cent of business owners are uncomfortable with cloud-based technology beyond email. This same report also showed that small businesses that adopt such technology are much more likely to experience growth than those that don’t.
As accountants’ roles evolve into mainly advisory tasks, other issues the industry can help clients solve are to do with these small business owners’ retirement plans. With over 52 per cent of business owners under 50 years old having not done any retirement planning at all, this is a great area of opportunity for accounting professionals.
As the industry adopts time-saving technology and helps their clients do the same, there’s a prosperous future ahead, where accountants become one of the main factors in their clients’ business success.