Accountants urged to ride the waves of change

By Liz Gold

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The urge for accountants to move beyond compliance and adapt to new emerging technology and greater client collaboration in order to stay relevant in today’s ever-changing world was the clear message at Synergy, Thomson Reuters’ 35th annual user conference.

The key message from the conference was that cloud, social, mobile, massive amounts of data, and general technology convergence will challenges current business models. By 2020, 80 percent of adults on Earth will have a smartphone. Apps have exploded from 300,000 in 2010 to 1.5 million in 2015. Almost 40 percent of 50 to 64-year-olds check their smartphones at least a few times an hour. 28 percent of small businesses have become more dependent on technology in the last year.

47 percent of all existing occupations are at risk of becoming redundant by 2020.

However accountants have some catching up to do. 83 percent of firms don’t use cloud technology, 64 percent don’t use portals for any clients, and 40 percent don’t use a document management system. 35 percent don’t have a website. The No. 1 reason why small businesses leave their accountants is because they weren’t receiving proactive advice, only reactive service.

The conference was told that clients won’t pay fees if accountants don’t give them proactive advice. “Even if you do the reactive services, like tax and audit, it’s equally important that you care about your clients’ business and industry.

Just ask the question: What keeps you up at night?”

Read more here.