Thoughts on the future of Accounting from a Non-Accountant

When Esther was approached to present at a local networking event, the challenge was choosing what topic to focus on. Exactly one week before her presentation she attended the Digital Accountancy show and having been inspired by the content that day this was the catalyst for her speech.

Whilst it was relatively short and sweet we wanted to share her speech. It was jam packed with content and her thoughts on Accounting.

Thought on the future of Accounting

Hello. I’m Esther, I’m not accountant and I’m not from a traditional accountancy practice. 

We are Focal Business Group, and we help business owners to understand and manage their numbers to drive plans and decision making. We go beyond traditional accountancy. 

But what does that mean?

Traditional accountancy primarily focuses on recording, analysing and summarising financial transactions – this involves bookkeeping, payroll, tax preparation etc. 

Financial management however involves strategic planning and decision making to maximise an organisations value and ensure its viability – this includes the production of management accounts, budgets, forecasts and financial analysis. 

In summary, accountancy tends focus on what has happened whilst financial management looks towards the future and what is going to happen. 

Which brings me on nicely to the future of our industry. 

Recently I spent the day at the Digital Accountancy Show at Battersea Park and whilst it was a very hot day, the hottest topic was most definitely AI. 

For our industry, Cloud Accounting has been the key development in the last 10 years and the advent of automation via AI is going to be key to the next 10. 

Love it or hate it, we must use it or we’ll lose out.

So, does that mean you won’t need an accountant anymore, will the bot’s takeover?

Well, no, of course not

Bots will most definitely be able to do the number crunching, they can learn that. Accountancy will become even more automated and efficient. What they can’t do is what we do, have conversations, empathise, collaborate and help businesses plan and build. 

The financial management aspect of what we do is very human and personal and is here to stay. It’s all well good having your numbers in order but if you don’t understand what they mean or what they tell you about how to move forward then, what use are they?

So, when looking for your next accountant, it is important to look for someone who is very human and personable, has the requisite expertise, is moving with the times and above all else is someone you want to build a healthy relationship with, they really have to understand you and your business and what you want to achieve.

AI is here and we are already using it in many aspects of our day to day lives, we must not fear it, we must adapt and engage. 

The Non-Accountant

In the opening sentence Esther rightly admits to not being an accountant and this is why her role is crucial. Part of her remit at Focal Business Group is to stay abreast of the industry and guide us. Her focus for now will be the advent of AI and how this will shape our future, alongside her other responsibilities.

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