We talk to a lot of accountants, and their big fear of Automation, Cloud and Outsourcing is what will I do when the Compliance work is gone, or at least reduced so much that they have spare time on their hands.
Recently the discussions have centred around the fact that the world post Compliance is really a greenfield opportunity, and like Cloud/Automation/Offshoring the early adopters will be called the Entrepreneurs. These lighthouse accountants will be the trendsetters in the accounting world.
The best thing is that there is no right or wrong at the moment. There is no rule book. There are no guide books. And the software hasn’t really been written that will support what Australian accountants will be doing in a decade. Certainly it won’t be more of the same.
Given the current upheavals in our taxation system recently, many accountants are looking to improving their systems so that they can get in front of their clients with meaningful relevant conversations, before their clients initiate the calls.
And for each client type there are different issues that are being faced, so key to part of the solution must be systems beyond the traditional systems, that allow you to not only really know your customer, but to have key financial information that allows you to contact your customer before they know they need your advice. Think Facebook for your customers, but software that alerts you to new relevant issues for each customer.
So what are some examples of conversations… Let’s take a look:
Recently in the In The Black in March 2017, the Grattan Institute winding back three tax breaks for older Australians which they maintain are “unduly generous with no sensible policy rationale”, and which will claw back about A $1 Billion annually. These changes would impact taxpayers on part pension or no pension. Wouldn’t it be great if the accountants systems identified these people so that the accountant can do a quick mailout to alert them to the issue, rather than waiting for tax time when the affected come in for their compliance work.
Certainly there are a number of relevant tax issues happening in the home ownership area. Reduction of Land tax, reduction or removal of 50% Capital Gains Tax deduction on property, removal of negative gearing. And the new transition rules to SMSF’s.
A good database is going to allow accountants to provide clear communication to their customers, and good software is going to alert the accountants for the need to talk to their customers as tax changes are discussed.
However, at the moment, the future is unclear, which just means that Australian accountants haven’t created that future.