The young accountants of today will see their profession transformed over coming years as digitalisation gathers pace, workforces evolve, and sustainability factors become central to their purpose.
Embracing the seismic changes ahead will involve learning new skills that enhance and broaden the services they offer, putting them at the heart of economic and commercial planning for their clients.
“Powerful software platforms are now available that connect core business workflows, harness data flow and create a seamless source of truth, coupled with deep integrations that are secure and sustainable.”, says Gavin Fernandes, senior partner manager at MYOB. “We can enhance the flow of data, reducing duplication and digital disconnection to gain unprecedented insights that go way beyond pure accounting.”
“Powerful software platforms are now available that connect core business workflows, harness data flow and create a seamless source of truth, coupled with deep integrations that are secure and sustainable.”
Fernandes has identified five key future trends that accounting professionals need to prepare for.
1. High-value engagement models
“As accountants evolve, we’ll see a fundamental shift in how they serve clients. As basic admin is automated, they’ll have more time for high value support to drive business success,” he reveals. Compliance activities will still be a major revenue stream, but a new breed of practice will be able to focus on advisory and other related services.
2. AI takes a seat at the table
“Chat GPT and a slew of other applications have given us a first-hand look at the possibilities of how AI could complement human interaction and enable further automation,” Fernandes says. “However, practices should consider the relevance and value of AI tools to their practice and clients before implementing anything new.”
3. The rise of platforms
During the last ten years, apps became the default for pretty much every business and personal need, but their domination came with a price. “Whatever the issue, you could bet that someone would pipe up ‘Oh, there’s an app for that!’ But each operated independently, leading to disjointed workflows. App fatigue is real and businesses with 10+ apps in their stack will look to consolidate to be more streamlined and cost effective. ” Business management platforms align the various tasks, so management becomes harmonious. In future they’ll be even more sophisticated and intuitive.
4. ESG for all
ESG protocols are currently out of reach for many small businesses, but automation will make it widely accessible and achievable for when industry standards become higher and further legislation is rolled out.
5. Combatting talent shortages
“The accounting profession needs a resurgence,” Fernandes warns. “The current skills shortage has seen an increase in outsourcing, which could become more widespread unless the government focuses more on the profession.”
It means that software that replaces manual processes is even more critical. “With practice management products like GreatSoft you have industry best practice out-oft-he-box, while an ERP like MYOB Advanced Professional Services lets you define your own workflows and have complete flexibility around how you want to work.”
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