Editor's note

Going Digital
Supplement issue 4

December 2022

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Accountancy poised to undergo major digital transformation

Accounting professionals are predicting that the industry will become completely cloud-based or automated within the next few years.

“The importance of cloud computing cannot be overstated,” says Eric Johansson, fintech editor at tech publication Verdict. “The technology has made businesses’ IT infrastructure more flexible, scalable and safer – all without costing an arm and a leg.

“Despite the importance of cloud, funding into the sector has dropped this year. While cloud projects attracted capital raising north of $190.5m in 2021, investors have only backed similar projects to the tune of $85.1m in 2022, according to GlobalData. However, this shouldn’t be seen as rejection of the technology, but as part of the wider market correction seen across the tech industry as a whole, following the pandemic-powered bull run of the past two years. Things are, basically, returning to normal and cloud has a vital role to play in the new normal."

Accounting experts at Moss, a new fintech specialising in transforming the finance management of small to medium enterprises (SMEs) launching in the UK, point to this trend as the sector embraces greater levels of innovation. Commenting on Moss’s survey findings completed at Accountex London 2022 Mike Panzeri, General Manager, Moss UK, said, “The COVID-19 pandemic and Brexit have understandably had a significant impact on the accountancy profession, but this hasn’t impacted our business growth. We’re still in a state of hypergrowth despite the rocky circumstances. Our research actually highlights the massive opportunity for innovative SMEs around the world to take advantage of the untapped powerhouse of digitised spend management. In fact, findings like these are the very reason Moss is so excited to launch in the UK as, evidently, there is a very real demand for this type of solution.”

The findings show that the pandemic forced industries and professions across the board to re-examine their use of digital tools and technologies to facilitate remote working. Two years on, accountancy, once largely analogue, is no longer looking to these tools for its survival, but its future. Almost three-quarters (74%) of the accounting professionals surveyed deemed digital technology to be the most critical tool to understand in order to future proof their business; 56% state that motivating clients to digitise their processes and reduce their costs is the most pressing need for their practice. Amidst today’s economic uncertainties, financial management skills and streamlining company spend have become a vital part of the finance function. A significant proportion (32%) of respondents revealed that maintaining data accuracy throughout the spend management process was their biggest challenge. Fortunately, spend management was the area anticipated to undergo the greatest technological change, with just under one-third (30%) of respondents predicting it would become completely automated in the next five to 10 years.

In IAB’s Going Digital Supplement 2022, read Thematic Intelligence expert Shabnam Pervez’s feature on how accountancy firms will need to shift and adapt to manage data and filing through increasing cloud-based activity; AICPA & CIMA’s Ash Noah, VP& MD, Management Accounting, explores how to navigate digital disruption using data rich analytics and offers a case study on its Agile Finance Transformation Certification Series; HLB International's Lisa Benson and HLB's Jim Bourke discuss how digital transformation is evolving the audit, tax and advisory landscape; HLB tell us about the digital development of their own accounting business services; Chris O’Neill, Chief Growth Officer, Xero explains the growing area of app advisory with a case study offered on Xero’s digital transformation journey partnered with PKF International.

In addition, Eric Johansson, editor at tech publication Verdict, GlobalData showcases the top 10 fintech funding deals in Q4 2022.

Do get in touch with me to share your organisation’s digital transformation journey.

Zoya Malik
Editor-in-Chief, Financial Services Practice, GlobalData & Editor, International Accounting Bulletin