Editor's note

World Survey 2023

February 2023 Issue 5

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Focussing on customer experience to win over clients

Customer experience (CX) is becoming a pressing and critical strategy objective that is increasingly moving into accounting organisations as an in-house function. Whether you call it client, customer or employee stakeholder obsession, CX is creating environments and collaborative channels to deliver business solutions objectives to a whole new creative level.

Via experiential means, brands are accentuating differentiation and encouraging trust and confidence, in order to retain and secure stakeholder loyalty. Investment by networks, associations and firms in tech and super apps, accompanied by altered brand communications, is creating pathways towards capturing the hearts and wallets of those they serve.

CX is increasingly expected to deliver an end-to-end user journey that is innovative, serving exciting lead generation prospects and measurable in terms of ROI. It is also a fast-expanding universe of possibilities with activities in the Metaverse providing one such dimension; however, there are already many existing subsets in the real world where people’s immediate expectations must be met when researching company websites, accessing contact centres, CRM tools and member portals. The goal is to make clients feel valued, well informed and satisfied along the journey. Culture and customer experience officers along with tech developers and designers are entering accounting firms to provide the ideation, testing and development of this vast universe of viable and differentiated experiences.

There is also an emphasis on market forces impacting the fortunes of firms in the industry, with M&As reflecting and shaping the regional and global markets. Collaborative engagement on either side is being assisted with AI, Cloud and digital tools to reach growth and expansion goals for investors and portfolio managers.

In this issue, there is a joint analysis by Joe Pickard and Santiago Bedoya-Pardo on International Accounting Bulletin’s World Survey 2023. The World Survey provides rankings by fee income and staff numbers for accounting networks and associations, highlighting their standing on the global accounting stage for FY22. The analysis is titled Growth returns to double digits and reflects on the industry’s performance across four practice lines and six regions.

Elsewhere, read Cyrus Mewawalla, Head of Thematic Intelligence at GlobalData’s summary of his talk to ICAEW members about the Themes that will be driving investment and M&A activity in 2023; in my Q&A with Andy Ryder, corporate finance partner at Shorts and chair of Praxity’s M&A working group, he discusses Praxity’s international M&A Hub launch for its members with the aim of matching and supporting them in the deal-making process; Xero’s case study tells of its partnership with DFK International who were looking to invest in tools and a cloud-based platform to help attract and retrain young talent; an expert from Intellius summarises key development in the FinTech sector; the feature ROI of Happiness: The Commercial Case for Employee Wellbeing points to the impact a happy workplace can play in a company’s bottom-line; and finally there is a light hearted look at the business buzzwords that will enthral us in 2023, by consultancy Schwa.

To participate in IAB & The Accountant’s upcoming themed Supplements in 2023, do contact:

Sharon Howley: sharon.howley@verdict.co.uk

Mary Fashola: mary.fashola@globaldata.com

International Accounting Bulletin

June: Audit and Advisory: Topics may include: Data Visualisation, non-traditional risks e.g. climate and cybersecurity, audit skill- sets, attestation around cloud tech and cryptocurrency, greater communication between audit and stakeholders, audit and risk forecasting and efficiencies from cloud platforms.

September: Cloud: Topics may include: MTD (April 2024) cloud reporting updates, vendors and firms’ investment and integration with partners.

December: AI: Topics may include: Tech for streamlining processing errors, AI in audit for Predictive and Prescriptive forecasting, VR based audit drones, Forecasting Sales Demand planning, Metaverse audits and Tax Planning and Strategy.

The Accountant

May: The Developing Accountant: Topics may include: CPD (Continued Professional Development), L&D curriculum for new skillsets, Professional Bodies’ member initiatives, Outreach programmes training accountants from underrepresented communities, University Roadshows and Recruitment for Accounting.

October: Sustainability – The Green Accountant: Topics may include: Training to meet sustainability standards reporting, Green Finance, Technology vendors delivering sustainability targets and reporting, Regulators and Accounting industry Sustainability Standards Setters directives, Government trade boards on tax incentives for green investors and FDI.

We look forward to our subscribers’ feedback to this issue, and your future participation.

Zoya Malik

Editor in Chief, International Accounting Bulletin, GlobalData