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Accountants must start to look forward, says thought leader

Accountants must “stop looking in the rearview mirror” and start “looking out the windscreen”, according to a prominent industry thought leader.

News Staff Reporter 12 October 2015
— 1 minute read

Speaking to AccountantsDaily, David Knowles, Pitcher Partners partner and the 2014 Australian Accounting Awards Thought Leader of the Year, said technology is driving the industry to evolve and this has had an effect on how accountants should serve their clients.

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“Of course there will always be a place for accountants," Mr Knowles said. "It’s just what sort of work will they be doing. Will it look the same as what they did five years ago?"

Mr Knowles said he expects there will be a lot more technology involved and the tax office will look to increase its direct interaction with taxpayers.

As a result, accountants will need to re-evaluate the types of service they offer clients.

“Most of what accountants have traditionally done has been looking in the rearview mirror: 'We are going to give you a report about what happened' – a financial report, a tax return, some sort of compliance activity about the past, whereas businesses need to be far more focused on what’s going to happen and have advice around strategies and business opportunities and all of those sorts of things which are very forward looking," he said.

“So that’s where I see the shift – going from looking in the rearview mirror to looking out the windscreen,” Mr Knowles said.

Accountants must start to look forward, says thought leader
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