Accounting industry set to ‘disrupt the banks’

Accounting industry set to ‘disrupt the banks’

Several of the traditional services offered by banks are under threat, according to MYOB, with superior transactional data enabling accounting firms to offer these services at faster rates than the banks.

Speaking to AccountantsDaily, MYOB general manager of user experience and design Ben Ross said recent developments with lending and merchant facility services mean small business clients are already able to access these services directly from their accounting firms, and bypass the banks.

Mr Ross said it takes around six weeks for a bank to approve a merchant facility or credit card acceptance facility for a small business, compared with potentially six minutes through an accounting firm.

“[Accounting firms] are also starting to offer better loan products compared with the banks,” he said.

"I think accounting firms are really going to disrupt the banks."

Accounting firms and software companies, he added, hold better transactional data than the banks because it has been “coded or cleaned up by accountants”, which speeds up several services, including the processing of loan approvals.

Further developments with big data over the next few years, Mr Ross said, will see an increasing expansion of the range of services that can be offered directly through accounting firms.

With the classification of data becoming increasingly automated, he said that accounting firms providing business advisory services will have more time to boost revenue through these added services.

“It’s going to be more about the analytics that sit on top of that data than actually categorising transactions,” said Mr Ross.

“At the moment, if I go and see my accountant, my accountant probably spends around 30 per cent of the time cleaning out my data and understanding my situation, and 70 per cent on giving me advice. In the future a lot of that initial 30 per cent of understanding the transactions won’t need to happen because it’ll already be clear.”

Accounting industry set to ‘disrupt the banks’
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