Julio De Laffitte, creator of financial advisory firm JDL Strategies, said some industries, including the accounting profession, are at risk of extinction as customers find new ways of doing business.
“Years ago we were told to get our heads out of the clouds. Now we have to have our heads in the clouds because that’s where an increasing share of data is stored and data and numbers drive the accounting world,” he explained.
Mr De Laffitte said that technological advances are altering what it is accountants do and the value they add for clients.
“A generation ago accountants profited from face-to-face appointments for a range of services, from tax returns to book keeping. Soon we may not have to file tax returns any longer and as for book-keeping, we may not need books at all in a world dominated by tablets and smartphones. Who knows what tomorrow will bring?”
Mid-tier firm Pitcher Partners recently told AccountantsDaily that the industry bodies need to do more to help smaller firms prepare for technology-driven change.
David Knowles, Pitcher Partners partner and winner of the Thought Leader of the Year award at the Australian Accounting Awards, said the rate of technology-driven change appears to be accelerating, leaving many practitioners unprepared, and he believes the industry bodies need to do more to ensure their members are ready for the change.
“I don’t think the profession is doing much in terms of the peak bodies; they are not really helping their constituents make that change and I think a lot of them haven’t even seen it coming yet,” he said.
“I don’t think the one or two member firms out in the suburbs have quite tweaked as to what is going on; I don’t think they’re getting themselves ready”.