In this time of unprecedented social, political and technological transformation, virtually every industry on the planet is undergoing change. Few more so, arguably, than the accounting profession.
As a result, we’re all asking ourselves (and each other) the very same question: “What does the future of the industry look like?” And while there may be no definitive answer, one thing remains abundantly clear. Now more than ever, it pays to adopt a forward-thinking approach.
In response, this year’s The Future Advisor conference promises attendees insight into where they should be today, where the industry is headed tomorrow and the opportunities that are set to arise for those savvy enough to take them.
“Safe to say, it’s a very exciting time to be an accountant or bookkeeper right now,” acknowledges Trent Innes, Xero’s Managing Director, Australia and Asia. With Xero a proud event sponsor, he continues, “The Future Advisor stands for innovation – this is where you’ll find the industry’s thought-leaders.”
On the topic of the future, Trent adds, “Xero isn’t here to determine what the industry should and shouldn’t be. That’s better left to all of the forward-thinking accountants and bookkeepers out there. Rather, our role is to harness the power of technology to enable those experts to continue to evolve and provide a better service for their clients.”
Ahead of the March conference, we sat down with a number of speakers and key industry figures to discover their vision for what’s next.
Sharpening skills and carving out the time for connection
Kev Ryan, host of The Future Advisor, predicts that accountants will need to broaden their skill sets and sharpen their people skills. “Accountants will soon play roles like virtual CFO and virtual general manager. And they’ll definitely be a member of their clients’ advisory boards.”
Greg Hayes, Chairman of Hayes Knight, agrees. “Accountants will need to be far more strategic than they have been in the past. The days of offering similar services to a similar client base will be over. Instead, it will all come down to working out what the right space for their practice is.”
While Rob Nixon, an authority on helping firms achieve peak performance with Profitable Partners, adds, “Accountants will need to learn how to sell, build enduring relationships and offer solid business advice.” – Read more