Accountants see tech as key to success in the future

Those accountants that fail to adapt will ruin their business, a new report says.

Accountancy is one of those professions that are under heavy disruption by technology companies, and accountants know it. A new report by New Zealand-based software company Xero says more than four fifths (83 per cent) of accountants see understanding technology as important as understanding accountancy.  Almost three quarters (71 per cent) expect knowledge on automation in the financial sector to be crucial to success within five years.  Not everyone is acting on their instincts, though.

Less than half (48 per cent) of accountants are taking internal courses, and a quarter (26 per cent) are opting for external courses to make sure they’re up to date with the latest trends in technology, especially business intelligence tools.  For almost a third (31 per cent) of small business owners, technology competency is now the key skill to consider. Risk analysis skills, and management consultancy, are expected to be key accountant skills in the next ten years. 

“As we head into a prolonged period of technological change in the next five years it's encouraging that many accountants see being tech savvy as a key survival skill,” commented Gary Turner, Xero’s UK managing director.  

“However, the survey also suggests that the profession needs to work harder on investing sufficient time in keeping abreast of emerging technologies, and in more effectively persuading SMBs that a close working relationship with a financial professional will be important in years to come.” The full report, entitled State of Accounts, can be accessed on this link (PDF). 

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