Speaking to Accountants Daily, Pitcher Partners academic director of the International Institute of Entrepreneurship, Frank Wyatt, believes fintech opportunities are becoming increasingly prevalent - and pressing - in the Australian accounting market.
“As the centre of fintech innovation shifts from Europe to Asia, Australian accounting firms will have access to valuable emerging IP,” Mr Wyatt said.
“Australian accounting firms are uniquely positioned to anticipate the future of fintech. Mid-market accounting firms need to be skilled in fintech, blockchain and regtech for their own purposes as advisers to mid-market entrepreneurial firms.”
Meanwhile, ex-PwC global fintech expert Matthew Gardiner told Accountants Daily that the consumer demand for fintech is creating urgency for firms to get on board.
“Changes driven by Australian consumers, who rank fifth globally in terms of adoption, will introduce new advice paradigms for mid-market accounting firms,” Mr Gardiner said.
“[Fintech] platforms will alter B2B and B2C dynamics for companies, prompting the need for specialist accounting and consultancy services, especially around emergent regulatory matters.
“Artificial intelligence innovations will streamline repetitive processes for accounting firms and their clients.”
Mr Gardiner said that the risk of not embracing in fintech immediately could be fateful for mid-market companies, including accounting firms.
“Any mid-market company who is not able to make quick decisions based upon data, test and iterate their processes rapidly will be at increasing risk of disruption,” Mr Gardiner said.
“Those who do increase their ability to use fintech platforms will develop a sustainable competitive advantage.”
Mr Wyatt seconded this opinion, saying that if a firm chooses not to embrace fintech, their clients may shift to a firm which does.
“As digitisation consumes the historical functions of accounting firms, future accounting firms will need to identify new advisory services to offer to their clients as the client digitises their business and have the skills to address the enquiries of their clients and advise them on what will matter and how to approach these new digital technologies,” Mr Wyatt said.
“Without these skills, clients will go elsewhere to find the advice required to remain relevant to the rapidly digitising world.”