As reported in AccountantsDaily, ATO second commissioner Geoff Leeper recently warned accountants they are likely to bear the brunt of a $500 million red-tape reduction initiative as the tax office streamlines its procedures. He said the ATO’s SBR technology will mean a loss of processing and compliance work for many accounting firms.
However, Sam Allert, managing director of the accountants group at Reckon, said the reality is that automation, like the ATO's SBR program, is streamlining processes that were actually costing accountants.
"I don’t see it (automation) being a challenge to their revenue base."
“They’re going to be able to give their clients a whole lot more value for the same investment and for the same costs,” he said.
Rather than looking at technology-driven automation as a threat, Mr Allert said accountants should welcome the changes and take advantage of the opportunities they present.
“Our view at Reckon is that accountants are in the best position that they have been for many a year,” Mr Allert said.
"Ever since I’ve been in this industry – and my dad's a chartered accountant – accountants have wanted more time to provide more value to their clients. It’s a relationship business, so at the end of the day a better relationship between the accountant and their client is the best thing for generating revenue.”
Mr Allert told AccountantsDaily that SBR is just one example of automation that accountants can expect to impact the industry.
“Automation today is excellent and we are going to see more and more of that automation with things like open-data sources, APIs and we are going to share a lot of information between software packages, it’s only the beginning,” Mr Allert said.
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