Accounting Influencers Roundtable

Accounting
Influencers
Roundtable

Innovating Accounting: Strategies for Upcoming Changes

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:

John Glasgow | The CEO at Campfire who is building modern accounting software

John Thompson | Radical advocate for Primary Advisory and the value of accountants

Jon Jenkins | CEO & Founder Hindsight, starting client conversations for accountants

Jonathan Mifsud | Co-Founder at Buddy, Changing Payroll Tech for Accounting Practices

Julie Wilkinson | Specialist M&A Advisor helping businesses successfully buy and sell businesses

Tune into more on this daily show for short, sharp episodes that keep you informed of what’s happening in the accounting world and the whole ecosystem of consultants, organizations, vendors and advisors who serve them.

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Transcript
Rob Brown:

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. And this episode will continue to ask our experts and influencers, what they think will drive change in accounting over the next few years. Everything's important, but not everything matters. What we think might move the dial might turn into something of a gimmick or a flash in the pan or a blip in the journey. Other seemingly minor factors might evolve into major drivers of change. So let's find out what our guests think will be the difference makers in accounting over the next few years. Um, now, uh, here is John Glasgow, the CEO at campfire. Who's at the hell of building modern accounting software designed to meet the dynamic needs of today's accountants and their clients with efficiency and ease.

John Glasgow:

AI is the obvious answer, but adoption's going to take a lot of time. You think of even rule based triggers. A lot of our customers are still manually doing a lot of transaction categorization, even though rules exist. so just getting everybody Into software that is, I would just argue is fun and modern and we've seen ramp and some others really take the industry to be like, whoa, like I saw a bus the other day that was covered in bright yellow and it said ramp and it said we're out having fun or something instead of, categorizing a transaction. I was like, man, that looks like a really cool company, but this is where accounting is going. and one thing I've noticed in a controller customer of ours says we are not the back office at the company. We are the backbone. And so if you rethink the role and you think about being more strategic in the role, the role becomes more front office. and then also this trend of making it more fun. And I love all of that, and that's a big vision and push that we're making at Campfire.

Rob Brown:

And here we get the thoughts of John Thompson. Radical advocate for primary advisory and the value of accountants emphasizing the critical role accountants play in guided businesses through strategic financial decisions.

John Thompson:

we're going back to technology, Rob. AI is already having an impact. Some of it very good. Some of it not so good because it's the early days, really. And bluntly, some AI is excellent and some AI is tosh. What will change it? The tech's going to drive it. I'd like to think there'd be more than just the tech. I have a view that some people hold and maybe some people doubt that the regulatory, the accountant's regulatory bodies, the associations, the institutes are letting the accountant down, letting their members down by not training them for this future. from my viewpoint, I'm not aware of any formal training in advisory anywhere in the world, other than advisory 101, which of course my company with Martin Bissett have created and are beginning to roll out. I'm not aware of it anywhere else. How will tech change the profession? it already has done. So Rob, we've got a few gray hairs, you and me. So we've been around the block a few times. if I just roll the clock back, when I learned and trained to be an accountant, we prepared the accounts. We have to understand. The, disclosure requirements on a set of accounts, and if we needed to amend them, those disclosure requirements, we had to have the knowledge to do that. Then accounting software preparation tech came in and you entered a TB, trial balance, and a set of accounts was produced. And what that meant was very quickly, some of the part qualified or indeed even qualified accountants Never really needed to fully understand the disclosure requirements in the notes. So that when something needed changing, and I remember when I was a partner in a top 10 firm, I sent something back to a manager and said, could you change that? And she didn't know how to. So she was relying totally on the tech. So the tech made everything faster, in theory, more efficient, but was it more effective? And that's. The good and the bad of tech.

Rob Brown:

The next voice is John Jenkins, CEO and founder of hindsight's starting meaningful conversations for accountants enhancing client relationships and practice value through innovative ingredient tools.

Jon Jenkins:

I think for me, the biggest thing is going to be a change in mindset. I genuinely think we've got, AI has been a massive explosion the kind of, last 12 months or so. so I know a lot of people are going to go, Oh, this is going to be, the biggest change, but we have an intent to do things, but actually implementing something. And the intent to do something, I think, are two different things. for me, what I would like to see is the biggest, change in accountancy is actually for all of us to have a kind of a change in mindset, about how important what we do is. How we can achieve it, how we should be more realistic, in terms of what we can provide to, to business owners, then you can start to harness the tools that are available to us to provide the services that small business owners want and quite, quite rightly need. We need to follow through on, on these things that we're thinking about, we need to implement. The key thing for me and probably the biggest thing that I've seen when working with, talking to any accountants and working with accountants is we're trained in dot and I's cross and T's. We need to be more curious. I think that's the biggest issue that I can see is that we've lost this ability to be curious and clicking on buttons and seeing what that does and just, thinking about things in a slightly different way. and we almost need to go back to being a bit more childlike, just be inquisitive. And curious about everything, and look at things in a different way. Because, as I've said, with AI and tech, I think it's just, it's given us the ability to rewrite the landscape. And the only thing that's going to hold us back from genuinely doing that is our lack of ability to think about what we can do with that.

Rob Brown:

Coming up now is Jonathan Mifsud, co founder, buddy changing payroll tech for accounting practices by introducing innovative solutions that streamline payroll processes and enhance service delivery.

Jonathan Mifsud:

So I think the next few years will see the increase of self accounting. I think people will try to use things like AI to do things themselves. We definitely know the way that goes most of the time. So there'll be mistakes and issues which will come back up into. Our advisors will see a rise of automation. So we see accountants that are leveraging this to give better advice to their clients. And that is hopefully what will start shifting people from using AI themselves, using someone that's qualified that can leverage that AI to deliver that value to them.

Rob Brown:

The next bushy hit will be Julie Wilkinson specialist, M and a advisor, helping businesses successfully navigate the complexities of buying and selling insurance. Smooth transitions on optimal outcomes for all parties involved.

Julie Wilkinson:

I think the main change to come is probably going to be AI and technology. What I think will happen, I think it will really change the accounting industry, because I feel like clients will think because software is saying it can do things, it will put more expectation on this consultancy services, because whether the client can actually do their own, I don't believe they will, because you're still going to have to do tax knowledge. But we don't know how advanced AI will become. For example, if there's an AI that can recite the textbook, then obviously that's going to change the industry. so I definitely think AI is something to watch out for.

Microphone (TONOR TC30 Audio Device)-1:

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 influencers@accountinginfluences.com. 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.