The SA Institute of Business Accountants (Saiba) intends kicking down the door of privilege that benefits some accountants over others, Saiba CEO Nicolaas van Wyk told a packed room of accountants and other professionals in Sandton on Wednesday.
“We’re sick and tired of a closed market,” he told the delegates attending a panel discussion on the impact of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) on the accounting profession.
“We made a noise about the Empowerment Charter for CAs and that has had an impact,” he said.
This was after Sabia launched a media campaign to highlight the original charter’s attempt to entrench privileges for CAs to the detriment of others in the accounting profession, such as bookkeepers, management and cost accountants and tax specialists.
The Charter is being recast to open the doors of opportunity to all accountants, including Saiba members.
Saiba had developed strong relationships with universities such as Stellenbosch and University of SA (Unisa) and was collaborating with academics for the launch of a specialised BComm degree aimed at chief financial officers.
4IR will have a profound impact on the accounting profession, said van Wyk, and it was vital that accountants position themselves at the forefront of the coming digital revolution.
Van Zyl announced the launch of a study in partnership with Tangent Solutions called Developing a Digital Plan for the SA Accountancy Industry. Speakers at the event warned that routine accounting functions such as that performed by bookkeepers may be extinct within two to three years.
This means the accountant of the future will have to upskill to provide critical intelligence to clients. Accountants will have to become trusted advisors and provide strategic and management insights to clients, rather than just financial statements and compliance.
You can read more about the Saiba-sponsored report into how the 4IR will impact the accounting profession here.