Are traditional accountants facing extinction? The world is at a time where digital
technology is gaining ground and the accountant?s role in business is under
threat.In order to stay relevant the need to evolve is greater than ever.
Traditionally accountancy was seen as the go-to-guy for financial issues.
Whether it is a blue chip corporate or a small business, accountancy played a
fundamental role in facilitating tax compliancy, financial reporting and
management of accounts. Today, in the digital age, most of the compliancy,
account management and reporting have been digitalised and the accountant?s
role in business has shifted.
Any astute business leader wants regular input from their accountant not
just profit and loss. They want reporting as well as advice on how to grow their
enterprise, how to increase sales, speed up internal processes, reduce
overheads, expand into new markets.They want to be able to make quick
decisions such as ordering another shipment of stock, hiring more employees,
investing in a new product, CAPEX spending, expanding their premises and so
"The role of accountants has become more important to general society, the
focus is on social value opposed to just reporting on profit and loss.' -Karen
Smal, Acting Head, ACCA South Africa.
Then there is value. Thisreference to value in a wider sense contributes to
society in some way whether economically, socially or environmentally. In
February 2014, ACCA (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) released a
report dealing with social change in accountancy titled;Creating value through
governance - towards a new accountability (report).
The report looks at what causes economic growth and at the nature of money
and debt; further it researches how companies create value and find that some
activities which may be very profitable do not create value so much as extract or
transfer value from somewhere else. The report encourages a proposed
accountability framework based on performing, informing and holding to account
which can be used to asses and to improve corporate and social governance.
The digital age is allowing the opportunity to evolve, to become role players,
social changers. Digitalised accountancy processes allow accountants to focus
more time and energy on company growth strategies opposed to bean counting.
Ethics, good governance and social upliftment will become a key component
of the accountant 2.0. In South Africa, where social change is vital in the success
of business and government, the evolving accountant will flourish.
To request a copy of the report titled "Creating value through governance -
towards a new accountability, contact ACCA South African on 0860 02 10 10.