Major accounting body flags 'next disruptor'

Accounting firms with a social purpose beyond profit are set to be the next disruptor in financial services, according to one major accounting body, giving firms the potential to have an impact beyond their transactional work. 

Speaking to Accountants Daily CA ANZ’s general manager of Lifelong Learning, Stephen Carpenter, said that purpose outside of profit - such as charitable goals - is set to disrupt the accounting industry and wider business environment.

“We think that purpose itself has the potential to be a disruptor, similarly to technology over the last few years, similarly to environmental things that have been in place for more than a decade now,” Mr Carpenter said.

“We feel that this is a space that has potential to disrupt in terms of the role of business in the broader community, and it's a timely discussion that we seek to engender.”

CA ANZ’s annual Business Forum was held in Sydney this week, focusing on the idea of achieving purpose beyond profit.

The purpose of the forum was to “engender a discussion about the role of accountants and more broadly the role of business in terms of creating prosperity for all, beyond the simple measure of the bottom line,” Mr Carpenter said.

“So the idea is how businesses can invest in people and the community and in doing so, discover not only a competitive advantage but also potentially a social purpose or a purpose beyond the bottom line.”

Accounting firms are well positioned to put this idea in to practice, and many already are, according to Mr Carpenter.

“Accountants have very close trusted relationships with their clients, and the role that they play does extend beyond a narrow accountancy role through instances of helping and advising and supporting clients through the entirety of their business plan and business strategy,” Mr Carpenter said.

“So as a trusted adviser to those local firms, we want to really leverage that relationship that already exists, and have a broader conversation about how it is that chartered accountants are contributing everyday to the good of their clients and to the communities in which they work and are involved.”

 

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