Speaking at the IPA’s National Congress in Melbourne last week, Reckon’s managing director for Australia and New Zealand, Sam Allert, acknowledged there has been a lot of noise about the role of accountants becoming redundant as technology continues to pervade the Australian marketplace.
Mr Allert said since his early days at Reckon, where he’s been for 18 years, accountants have been constantly searching for more efficient processes for back office systems, so they can spend more time adding “real value” to their client services.
“Some are saying you’ll be out of business in five to 10 years, but I disagree entirely. Automation is doing a lot of things, but it’s not going to eliminate accountants,” he said.
“Automation is going to streamline all of the back office processes that you may not want to do, and is going to give you more time to speak to your clients,” he said.
“Forever, accountants have been right up there as one of the number one trusted advisers. It’s not because of technology; it’s because of the relationship they have with their clients. The world is being disrupted. Your clients need to turn to a trusted adviser to advise on that change and hold their hand through that change,” he added.
While Mr Allert believes there has “never been a better time to be an accountant”, he said accountants who do not leverage their opportunities in this fast-moving environment will risk losing out to competitors who do.
“You can’t sit back in your practice and not leverage these opportunities,” he said.
“If you do that, it’s a way to fail, because the world is changing so rapidly.”