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‘No silver bullet’ in accounting ecosystem

Clients looking to adopt new cloud systems need to curb their expectations of a perfect solution and take a leap forward to reap the benefits of quality data, say industry experts.

Technology Jotham Lian 04 June 2019
— 2 minute read

PwC digital innovation global lead Scott McLiver believes access to better data can provide accountants with key insights into a client’s business, including the prediction of cash flow and performance, while delivering better efficiencies within the practice.

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“When I think about data, there is a mix between the big data we hear all the time, which are big data sets that give promise of big early indicators like economic trends, and the really important data that businesses can get within their own ecosystems and general ledgers, and that’s where I think these API-driven accounting ecosystems are being incredibly powerful,” Mr McLiver said at QuickBooks Connect 2019.

While the adoption rate of cloud accounting and accounting ecosystems in Australia and New Zealand is “phenomenal” according to Mr McLiver, there is a hurdle that advisers need to navigate when getting clients to adopt new systems to access the data.

“When business are looking to adopt some of these new cloud systems, they are resistant to change because they want a silver bullet, they want the perfect system and the perfect app, but as long as you can take a big step forward and not sacrifice a fundamental deal-breaker and move your business from 50 per cent efficiency to 80 per cent and acknowledging that 20 per cent can come later,” he said.

“You’re never going to find the silver bullet, but dont sacrifice that big step forward just because there isnt a perfect system out there that solves every single problem for your business.

“You can then make some real steps forward with data quality which is all to drive decision-making — quicker and faster decisions.”

Base camp apps

Mr McLiver believes there are a number of key apps that every accountant should be looking to introduce to clients’ businesses that can deliver some fundamental data.

“We certainly have this concept of ‘base camp’. Whilst you have very specific industry applications that can help, there is some real core stuff around your general ledger, your payables processing, your debtors collection, and thats what we call ‘base camp’ — the three or five apps that no matter what industry youve got to have nailed before you move on to more ambitious apps which are more client-facing for what you do,” he said.

Likewise, AS Partners director Sam Rotberg believes accountants need to familiarise themselves with a select number of apps to deliver their expertise to clients.

“There are so many apps out there and youre not going to know them all, so pick a few that you think are going to be suited to your client base and learn them well,” Mr Rotberg said.

“You cant be all things to all people, and if you try to do that, youll know nothing.”

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‘No silver bullet’ in accounting ecosystem
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Jotham Lian

Jotham Lian

Jotham Lian is the news editor of Accountants Daily, the leading source of breaking news, analysis and insight for Australian accounting professionals.

Before joining the team in 2017, Jotham wrote for a range of national mastheads including the Sydney Morning Herald, and Channel NewsAsia.

You can email Jotham at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

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