Speaking to AccountantsDaily at the Sage Summit in Chicago last week, Sage’s executive vice-president for product marketing Jennifer Warawa said there are many accountants in the US market who fear the transition to automated technologies for their compliance and back-end work.
“They’re looking at their calendar going, ‘I’ve got three years until retirement and if I don’t do anything, can I still last just to get out the door?’.”
“But by that point you have a practice that can’t sell because you haven’t transitioned it at all towards the future, and nobody wants to buy that,” she said.
Ms Warawa noted that technologies such as blockchain can essentially automate an entire auditing process, and will hit the industry “whether they like it or not”.
“But there’s great opportunity here for you to automate low-value activities that your clients really aren’t that excited about paying you for, and figure out how you start thinking about the future instead of just reporting on the past,” she said.
The United States in particular is being hit with a wave of automation tools for the accounting and bookkeeping market.
For example, last week Sage announced the launch of a new “messaging bot”, Pegg, which allows users to track expenses and manage finances through messaging apps.
“Pegg hides the complexities of accounting and lets entrepreneurs manage finances through conversation, making the process as simple as writing a text,” Sage said.