Earlier this month, the government committed $44.6 million in the budget to establish Consumer Data Right (CDR) as part of efforts to introduce open banking in Australia.
Speaking to Accountants Daily, PwC Australia banking and capital markets leader Colin Heath said that, for accounting practitioners, what it means is that, upon receiving consent from their client, they will have much easier, swifter and more accurate and, potentially, complete access to an individual's financial records.
“What that will mean is that accountants will be able to assist with the services they currently provide, such as financial planning, personal financial management, tax returns and tax compliance, more streamlined, less prone to error and with much less onus on the customer,” Mr Heath said.
“To some extent, they will be able to do some of that in real-time, depending on how the rules work.”
Mr Heath said accountants will be able to develop their own tools to engage with customer financial data to monitor, advise or report whatever might be required for a client on a real-time basis.
Further, he said that, with the transition to open banking already underway, the only big questions are around the speed of that transition as well as dealing with the social implications.
“There are a range of technical and social questions to be dealt with before this can take off as a fundamental thing to do,” Mr Heath said.
“Some of those questions are around people's ability to generate and use the data, but I think the important ones are around liability and regulation and how we ensure that the social functions or pillars of a country are ready for data being managed in this way. We have to proceed cautiously.”
In March, research from Infosys found that the most commonly-listed trend to have a positive impact over the next three years was use of data analytics to deepen product personalisation, followed by open banking, and paperless trading.