To survive the “technology mega-trend provided through the internet, smart devices and applications and cloud computing”, accountants must “take a wider view of their natural domain”, said Spiro Paule, Findex chief executive.
Digital disruption, Mr Paule said, will have a profound effect on the accounting industry and, specifically, the role of accountants.
“This means that technology-savvy practitioners will, by necessity, need to adopt more advisory services to remain relevant,” he said.
“The focus will shift from compliance to management accounting. The former will become more commoditised or ‘margin thin’, whilst the latter will become the driver of a successful relationship as the client and practitioner work together to shape the future of the enterprise or individual in question.”
The most successful accountants are likely to be those who take an active interest in the complete gamut of financial services required by clients, he said.
“This will not only include compliance and management accountancy, or forward-looking advice, but also risk and lending services, as well as retirement and succession planning, to name a few,” Mr Paule said.
“The one-stop-shop financial services experience for wealthy clients has long been the norm in the form of the so-called 'family office' model, and I believe [this] is the way of the future for successful practices.
“If one stops to think about it for a moment, it’s only logical that the most trusted provider should build on this bank of goodwill and stored confidence to provide a more holistic offering,” Mr Paule said.