In the lead up to EOFY, we surveyed almost 500 accounting professionals and conducted a roundtable discussion with industry experts to explore some of the main issues affecting the accounting industry. Here are some of the key findings from our research. For the full results, download the eBook.
1) The Royal Commission will present an opportunity to the industry
Accountants have long-maintained their reputation as the most trusted advisor among professionals. With the Royal Commission shining a spotlight on the shortcomings of traditional financial service providers, clients will increasingly be turning to their accountants for more services. Client demands have been evolving for a while with many already asking accountants to provide broad ranging commercial advice and business consultancy services. This shift in demand was also reflected in our survey results which showed over 60% of respondents are expanding into consulting, with 22% looking into financial advice and 20% into financial planning.
2) Adoption of data analytics and AI will pick up pace
Rate of technology adoption among the accounting industry is high with 74% of firms having adopted new tech in the past year and 75% working in the cloud. The main benefit users are finding is that it frees up staff time from routine tasks. However, only 10% of respondents reported a significant increase in revenue as a result of adopting technology which shows that the industry is not yet taking full advantage of technology. Our roundtable participants noted that as clients demand more future-oriented and proactive services, data analytics and AI will play a huge role in predictive services.
3) Keeping up with evolving regulations will be a huge challenge
One of the key struggles that came out in the survey was that 56% of accountants find it difficult to keep on top of current regulatory framework, with 86% worried that the constant changing of taxation rules is putting them at risk of non-compliance. In addition, 70% of those surveyed don’t know what they’ll have to do to prepare for Tranche 2 of the Anti-Money Laundering/Counter-Terrorism Financing Act. Regulation technology that helps with compliance will likely start playing a larger role in many firms as the complexity of compliance increases.
4) There will be a push for education reform
One of the main issues that all our roundtable participants agreed on was that new grads are lacking the fundamentals with many unable to read a balance sheet or set of accounts. Young accountants are coming into the profession unequipped with basic but essential accounting skills and something needs to change to ensure the integrity of the profession. Participants agreed that teaching grad the ‘soft skills’ rests with employers, and is done through mentoring, workshops and practical training.
InfoTrack is an Australian technology company that provides easy-to-use searches and services for accounting professionals. We connect you to the information and tools you need all under one roof and integrate into your workflow to ensure consistency and efficiency across your systems. We help you save time by streamlining your searching, compliance and due diligence processes. We understand that the industry is evolving and you’re facing increasing pressure to differentiate your services and meet growing client demands.