If accountants don’t embrace change these days, we may be left behind very quickly. Change used to happen slowly so everyone could adjust, the world won’t wait that long anymore. What took six years to change now happens in six months. We’re in the middle of the digital age – a rollercoaster ride – hold on to your hats and enjoy it or be flung right off!
This brave new work that is unfolding before our eyes has two paths – one for the traditional accountant and one for the advisor.
Here are four reasons why traditional compliance accounting and tax fees will be under huge downward pressure in the immediate future. The price of a tax return will soon collapse under this pressure.
1. Offshoring or Outsourcing
Today accountants in Australia are competing with $6/hour CPAs overseas. These are accountants trained in Australian accounting who can prepare a set of accounts to submit to the ATO for a very low price.
2. Accounting Software Automation
Accounting software is becoming much smarter. I predict that within three years we will create tax returns to BAS (business activity statements) with the click of a button.
3. Automation of Other Systems
It’s not just accounting software that is becoming automated. Global advancements in technology are making it much easier to gather, analyse and distribute information. This is making things easier and cheaper and more convenient for everyone. It also makes it much easier to collect source documents for accounting programs.
4. Consumer Sentiment
Clients want more for their money and from their accountant or advisor than just their tax return. Businesses are expecting analysis and advice based on their financial results.
Here’s the secret: Technology is not the answer. It’s merely a tool that is used to create an efficient outcome.
Is the answer to offshore processing of tax returns so you can compete?
And while many people in the accounting industry are flogging outsourcing and offshoring – many clients and accountants for their own reasons aren’t comfortable with this. I’ve seen pictures of the offshore accounting “sweatshops” full of people working at PC’s. “Security is great,” we are told. USB ports are superglued so no-one can take any information out.
But this approach falls apart when the world moves to online accounting software. What’s to stop someone from leaving the sweatshop, going home and logging onto Xero, Reckon or MYOB with a username and password and doing whatever they want with your client’s data? No amount of super glue can stop that!
The answer is to automate your processes using online accounting software. As much as we love Xero, Xero alone is not the answer. It’s how you use it to do great things for your clients – and benefit yourself by working smarter not harder.
Outsource to Xero, not to the Philippines.
If you’re interested in hearing how to do this, check out our webinar at 12.10pm today (EST): ‘How To Prepare A Set Of Accounts In Under Two Hours’.