Accounting Influencers Roundtable


Future-Proof Finance: Navigating Accounting’s Evolution

The key drivers of change in accounting - Insights from top influencers Geni Whitehouse, Greg Kautz, Harriet Formby, Heath Alloway & Hitendra Patil

The Accounting Answers Podcast, hosted by Rob Brown, asks critical questions of the experts, leaders and influencers who shape the decision-making of accountants, CPAs and finance professionals. Today we ask:

What, if anything, will significantly change accounting in the next few years?

You’ll hear insightful and passionate answers from these 5 experts and influencers:

Geni Whitehouse | Keynote presenter, CPA, Winery consultant, President of Information Technology Alliance

Greg Kautz | Finance and technology executive of a lease accounting software company

Harriet Formby | Founder of BelowTheLineFinance, Holistic CFO & Purpose-Led Business Advisor

Heath Alloway | Director at Upstream Academy and servant leader for career professionals

Hitendra Patil | President at Datamatics CPA Outsourcing, Top 100 Influencer, Author, Speaker

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Hi, I'm Rob brown and welcome you. Accounting finance professionals, tech enthusiasts to the accounting answers podcast. We've embarked on a captivating exploration of the future of accounting and its profound connection to the ever-changing technology ecosystem. I think for a moment, how access to the minds of a range of accounting experts, influencers, vendors, and leaders would keep you super informed about what's going on in this wonderful profession. You'd stay relevant and future focused. You'd make better strategic and career decisions. If you know what forces are in play and what factors are driving change. To unravel the complexities unenviable future of accounting. I've personally interviewed 111 leading accounting professionals, tech leaders, and industry influencers, each bring in their unique. Expertise and insights to the table and together we'll delve into the five critical questions that will shape the accounting world. Through the eyes and minds of people living their accounts in life. I'll talk into accountants every day. We'll talk about five critical topics that ignite in passionate debates and stimulate minds across the globe. We're mapping the transformative trajectory of the accounting profession and its symbiotic relationship with the technological revolution. We'll be asking about the next gen accountants, how far down the advisory line firms are. What's going to change the accounting world. What their software vendors and tech providers could do better to serve accountants. And what's coming up in the future. Let's get straight into the answers for today's topic. We've been focusing this week on the question, what significant changes are on the horizon for the accounting profession in coming years? Getting future-focused is top of the agenda for accounting firms, professional associations. So titers governing bodies, her walls shaped the reputation of the profession. So let's get ahead of these disruptive forces as another five of our 111 accounting influencers and experts share their very best analysis. Shaman the thoughts now he's, GENI Whitehouse a keynote presenter, CPA winery, consultant, and president of the information technology Alliance. She combines her accounting expertise with a passion for technology and wine.

Geni Whitehouse:

Well, I think we all know that AI is going to have an impact. we can't help but apply it. I mean, it's so easy to use. It's so already taken over the space. Everybody's doing it. Whether we accept that or not at the top levels of existing firms, our young people are going to new sources of learning. They're getting educated by people on YouTube. That are teaching them about AI and what they can do with it. And they're going outside of firms to leverage these tools. So whether we like it or not, it's already changing our profession. And that means we have finally the chance to build the capacity to do services that our clients really need and want and will pay for.


Next we welcome grid counts, a finance and technology executive at a lease accounting software company, leading the way and simplifying complex leasing transactions for better financial transparency and compliance.

Greg Kautz:

I think number one thing is shortage of qualified accountants and corresponding auditors. I see a shortage in Canada, United States heading the rest of the world. I think that's going to be our biggest challenge ahead. So some of the challenges and problems we're going to see what this is. first of all, we're going to see higher audit fees, so that's going to result in companies have to be much more efficient in the way they, prepare their numbers, analyze their numbers and have backup. So, again, it's going to be, you know, one of the things is leveraging technology, finding ways to do more with less is what the consequences of the shortages will be.


Let's hear the perspective of Harriet Folbigg, founder of below the line finance, the holistic C F O and purpose led business advisor, who brings a comprehensive approach to financial leadership focusing on the impact beyond the bottom line.

Harriet Formby:

So I believe that we're going to move completely away from this focus on deadlines, tax due dates, reporting cycles. And we are going to be moving into actually sort of helping our clients create and build the businesses of the future that are solving the big problems we've got with society and the world. I think we're going to be bringing in as well. more non financial metrics, so it's not going to be just about profit and revenues and targets and shareholder value. We're going to be bringing in more diverse metrics where we're talking more about actually, you know, the impact we're having and that might not be fully tangible and we're going to have to work out how we measure these things and actually bring them in so that they have a value and they're just as important as the financial rule kind of pointing to the numbers data. I think we're also going to see a shift because we run on this cycle as accountants of dealing with deadlines and due dates. I think we're going to make space for ourselves. We're going to give technology the burden of sorting out all the deadlines and dates for us. And we're actually going to focus on doing things in the moment that really matter based on like value creation rather than like billable time. And I think we're going to take it as an approach of kind of seeing business owners first and foremost, as humans that have their own kind of world, their personal life, their ambitions. their past history with finance that comes into it all, I think we're going to be approaching it in a more kind of holistic, more trauma informed way when we talk about finance in the way that we talk to clients in a way that embraces the fact that it may be feeling shame about financial situations and the pressures of needing to make the cash flow work and actually, you know, stepping back and seeing it from a more sort of human perspective.


Please welcome Heath Alloway director, upstream academy, and a seventh leader for a career professionals dedicated to developing the next generation of leaders in the accounting profession.

Heath Alloway:

this may be a completely different path than what some others have answered. And I, I just, I've been thinking about, you know, some, some common answers we could think about AI technology, things along those lines. I'm going to take a little different perspective. We, we have a lot of really smart people in our profession. We have a lot of great people in our profession. We have a lot of very hardworking people in our profession. And. Whenever we set our minds to something, I believe that we can get there. I believe we're better changed than what we give ourselves credit for. And there have been a lot of things over the past few years that are having firms rethink, you know, how we work, where we work, you know, the type of work, the hours that we work. And I share all of that because I believe that there are things changing in our profession. That will create a better future. I do. I strongly believe that the best is yet to come. One of the biggest changes we hear the doom and gloom, fewer people, people leaving, you know, all the things that we continue to hear, I believe a different story. I think that it, this will be a sought after profession. People will start to see the value and start, you know, in a lot of ways, maybe directing their kids to the opportunity in our profession. So that is one of the things that I think will be different. And I think governance structures will be different. We'll have to be more nimble in how we make decisions and how we agree to be governed. It's just, things are changing at a faster pace, so that will continue to evolve as well.


Jumping into the conversation now. We've had tender PTL president, a data Matic CPA outsource in a top 100 influencer or the speaker who brings innovative solutions and insights to the field of accounting outsourcing.

Hitendra Patil:

I think top of the mind is client expectations. They're also aware that things are changing technologically. Things are breaking and getting better. Things are getting, intelligence driven data and information expectations that people had. They go, I need. my financial statement. I need to make sure my tax return is done in time and all that. That information expectation will give way to advice and intelligence expectation. More and more people will ask the accountant, okay, tell me according to you what I should be doing. And that requires application of mind on client situation. So that itself will change the business model itself of accounting firms. To offer more real time, more subscription based service models, where contents, intelligence expertise. advice will be in demand rather than those just outputs and things like that. So client expectations will drive the whole change in the profession. And technology will, of course, evolve at a very warp speed. And again, because of AI, things will be very, very different in terms of how technology evolves from here onwards. So those two are very significant changes that I can see right now.

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So they have five great answers to the question. What, if anything will significantly change accounting in the next few years, every working day of the week, Monday through Friday, we give you the insights of five top influencers in the accounting world on this critical area of what is coming up. Change wise for accountants that's 25 valuable perspectives. Viewpoints and best thinking every week and with a fresh week comes the first question and more thoughts from the best influencers and leaders we can find in the accounting world. Thanks for listening to the accounting answers podcast and sharing this brand new show with your friends and colleagues. If you want to join the conversation. You can plug into our community of And check out our virtual speed networking events. These happen every few months for the north American region and the UK Europe region. These are great opportunities to raise your profile, build valuable connections and share your thoughts with influential peers. Until next time, this is your host, Rob brown, saying stay informed, stay relevant and stay connected.