Does the accounting industry have a fear of digital technology?
When it comes to business, technology is by far one of the biggest changes over the past few decades and with many businesses moving to the cloud, there appears to be a reluctance for the accounting industry to follow their advice to clients and do the same.
With over 9,500 accounting firms in Australia, only a small percentage have migrated their systems to the cloud and their reluctance to move could be a threat to their capabilities in the long term.
A government report titled 'Technology and Australia’s Future' published in September 2015 has found there is trepidation of digital technology in the accounting industry.
Accounting firms quite commonly need to store thousands of emails on servers, and the reluctance to move to the cloud can mean that safe storage equates to a relatively high expense for traditional server space.
On top of this, the accounting industry’s reluctance to embrace the powers of Google’s G Suite and Microsoft 365 is proving to create some serious issues regarding inefficiencies.
The major concern is security and protecting data, yet with Google’s G Suite and Microsoft’s Office 365 capabilities businesses need not have any concern with some of the world’s latest and sophisticated technology being used to power the platforms.
A key reason that has been found for the slow take-up of digital technology is the delay or reluctance for technology adoption in accounting firms. This could be either the firm simply doesn’t know about digital technology, or there is an ignorance to take up technology within the firm due to the fact they aren’t fostering close relationships with IT experts.
Added to the fact that management is largely dominated by baby boomers and practitioners over the age of 50, the threat of late adoption of digital technology is a serious issue within the industry as a whole.
With unprecedented growth in digital technology, the accounting industry should be looking to embrace the following:
- Update exchange servers to cloud-based technology
- Embrace applications
- Explore ancillary products
- Explore practice management software
- Set up automation