A segment of the accounting community in Australia remains hesitant to progress to technologies, such as the cloud, but they are significantly more likely to experiment or make the transition than accountants overseas, Rich Preece, global accountant segment leader at Intuit, told Accountants Daily.
This is particularly evident in the use of mobile technologies within accounting, Mr Preece said.
“The smartphone penetration in Australia is about 84 per cent. Now that is higher than the UK, the US, and other countries,” Mr Preece said.
“And, of the small business accountants that we serve… 7 out of 10 are using third-party apps. That number is significantly higher than number of accountants embracing apps in UK and the US,” he said.
Australian accountants are also more on board with adopting new technologies to future-proof their firms, Mr Preece said.
“When I speak to accountants, particularly in the UK or the US as an example, I really try to explain to them that there is a once-in-a-generation shift that has occurred. Historically, the profession of accounting has been data in, data out bookkeeping. Literally data has been at the backbone, and that is changing,” Mr Preece said.
“But now, data has become commoditised... where the value [accountants] offer is the insight to the small business. It is no longer the data.
“When I share that with groups of accountants in the UK or the US, some of them have a reaction of ‘I understand, I need to change.’ Or some of them have a reaction of ‘if it ain’t broke I don’t have to fix it.’
“I will tell them happily from [the] stage, that as I look across the room of several hundred accountants, some will be very successful and some will be out of business in five years.
“In Australia, when I meet groups of accountants, qualitative, very much fewer are in that second group.”