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Core of accounting industry to ‘decimate’

Katarina Taurian
30 December 2014 — 1 minute read

The accounting industry is headed for an “earthquake” as the potential for advice and compliance work to be automated continues to grow, according to one SMSF technology consultant.

The accounting industry “won’t have a business” if it doesn’t adapt to technological advancements in the SMSF sector which are continuing at pace, said Smithink 2020 founding director David Smith at an SMSF Professionals’ Association of Australia NSW state chapter event.

“I can see the day that we will have automated tax returns and sets of accounts done, which means the accounting profession’s core business is really decimated. The accounting industry to survive, it needs to move to the world that we are talking about,” Mr Smith said.


“The machine automation is going to continue at pace, and it will accelerate. So if you look in the core work of the accounting industry, that’s going to decimate, there’s no doubt about that.”

Mr Smith also suggested the automation of advice could start in the next decade, after previously suggesting fully automated audits are also on the horizon.

BDO partner, private clients, Kim O’Brien also believes the compliance elements of advice practices will “reduce significantly”.

“I believe that will be automated in one way or another, whether that’s onshoring or offshoring, cloud technology – there will be significant changes in that space,” she said.

“In order for our businesses to survive, whether it’s in a financial planning environment or accounting environment, we will be doing more consulting work.”

Core of accounting industry to ‘decimate’
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