Client tech knowledge gaps to fill, finds MYOB accountants and bookkeepers report
29 Oct 2019
Nearly two thirds (59%) of accountants and bookkeepers believe their clients have knowledge gaps when it comes to technology, yet only half (54%) of those surveyed said they feel comfortable advising their clients on technological changes impacting their business, according to MYOB’s Radar Report.
The research, which explored the opinions of 840 accountant and bookkeeper firms, delved into their forecasts for future trends in the industry, with the global marketplace and artificial intelligence (AI) highlighted as the joint two technology trends most likely to have an impact on business in the next 10 years.
Three quarters (74%) of respondents said they believed the global marketplace – the trading of goods and services anywhere in the world – will have an impact on the accounting and bookkeeping industry in the next 10 years, while similarly 74% of respondents believed AI would have an effect. However, respondents believed the impact of the global marketplace was more immediate, with 45% saying the impact was inevitable, or had already started to affect business.
Futurist, Future Sandwich podcaster and co-author of the Radar Report, Tommy McCubbin, said the continuing growth of global trading is something the accounting and bookkeeping industry can be an integral part of.
"For the first time in human history, everyone can participate in a truly global marketplace. With access to free trading platforms, manufacturing tools such as 3D printers, and adoption of global cryptocurrencies on the horizon, the stage is set for every business model to be redesigned. We see this as a huge opportunity for accountants and bookkeepers to lead this step change for their clients, and themselves."
Down the track, accountants and bookkeepers feel the impact of AI on business will be large, with 39% of respondents saying that impact would be substantial in the next 10 years. David Weickhardt, General Manager of product for MYOB, agrees with sentiment from respondents that suggested only repetitive work would be replaced by AI.
“We are already seeing the impact technology is having on the industry and how it is helping our clients eliminate room for error or tasks that take them away from growing their business, but it’s moving in a way that’s complementary to the personal offering accountants and bookkeepers bring.
“Technology development, particularly in the AI space, will definitely change the game for the industry, but being across those changes now – and knowing how to make the most of those changes – will be the key,” said Mr Weickhardt.
Trends explored also included cryptocurrency and blockchain, with other key findings from the data including:
- To date, 17% of respondents have traded in cryptocurrency. However, 51% say that in the next 10 years cryptocurrency will be widely used by all businesses
- 74% believe cryptocurrency will have a moderate impact on the accounting and bookkeeping industry in the next 10 years
- 40% of respondents had heard of blockchain
- 18% believe blockchain will have a substantial impact on the accounting and bookkeeping industry in the next 10 years
The research was conducted as part of a broader report, which provides 10 year predictions of the effects of technology on accountant and bookkeeper client industries. The Radar Report, which is in its third year, delves into the changes and challenges impacting transport, retail, hospitality, trades, services and manufacturing, and can be downloaded in full here.
For further comment or other information please contact:
Collette Betts, Australia PR and Corporate Affairs Manager, MYOB
About the data
The study of 841 accountant and bookkeeper firms was conducted on behalf of MYOB by Just Click Here in May 2019.
MYOB is a leading provider of online business management solutions. MYOB makes business life easier for approximately 1.2 million businesses across Australia and New Zealand by simplifying accounting, payroll, tax, practice management, CRM, job costing, inventory and more. MYOB operates across three core segments – Clients and Partners (business solutions to SMEs and Advisers); Enterprise Solutions (larger businesses) and Payment Solutions. In addition, we provide ongoing support via many client service channels including a network of over 40,000 accountants, bookkeepers and other consultants. We are committed to ongoing innovation, particularly through our Connected Practice Strategy and through the development of the MYOB Platform. For more information visit https://www.myob.com/au/ or follow @MYOB on Twitter.